Poem: Holy Water Font

when they come to the water on sunday it barely touches skin, smoothed over and onto the next thing,
honey, darling, sweetheart, dear, let’s park the car close, don’t forget the lights
    but when this child touched the water
        he slowly extended his arm and advanced
        toward the font as if time itself, punctuated by the deliberate movement of his hand, slowed down
    for him, so it

 was very important
    to dip into the water in this particular way, middle finger first,
        then the rest,
    a little playfully, but not too much so,
to withdraw
his hand and cross himself
enough to convince that he saw something in the depths that I didn’t see, not before not since, only scant reflection: once after reading something from the 19th century did I ever feel similar
        but he did see something of

    the trinity

        and I suspect the whole revolving sphere of fluid stood still like in some mediaeval astronomy book
and he was able to stop time, for a bit,
because he was grinning,
        drops of holy water falling to the granite floor
and someone like his dad picking up his five-year-old body to the pew, replete with a jesus coloring book and an entrance hymn.

No comments:

Post a Comment