Order of Baptism

River Baptism, 2007

Don Dudenbostel, River Baptism, 2007.
Courtesy of the Artist.

Order of Baptism
by Michael McFee

Heavy curtains part above the choir
on this proscenium of paradise:
a blue arboretum of palms, cedars,
every Biblical bush; empty bulrushes,
the promised river bending out of sight,
this baptismal pool its headwaters.
A flock of clouds, placid and orderly
in soft light, perspective-perfect, attends
the possibility of word from heaven.

Has there ever been such a mild scene?

When the preacher wades in, Baptist-deep,
and the nervous children, as worried
about their robes as any salvation,
disappear behind the witnessing glass
to rise wetter than snow, who can keep
the mind from wanting to lift up and sail,
like cast-out sin, through that holy window
into a landscape, exotic, serene,
where no human/s being can ruin it?

     Plain Air, Poems
     University Presses of Florida, 1983

Order of Baptism