THIS IS BAPTISM

Barefoot, with bowl in hand,

my fingers find the berries

and pick them one by one.

This is a ritual I understand.


The sacrament: a July carnival of colour.


The spirit rises from the land.


This is a rite of rain,

gathered from the night

to open palms of silver green

that catch and wait, then fall on me.


There are other ways.

Their bitter stories - told to bind

and break, to cleave and separate -

are bile.

Their dense stench of rot

has deep and twisted roots.

Their fodder gold.


Full submergence will never

purge them of their sins.

No.


Come.

Comfort me with apples.

Bathe me with open eyes.




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