Baptism

When I came up out of the river

I saw Him standing there

like a white oak tree

with light in His leaves

and shaggy bark

thick and ancient

as a temple wall –

a champion with roots

to the center of the earth

stretching east and west.

I came up out of the water

fell on my face before Him

reached up to touch His bark and at once

everything green in me rooted and grew.

Wet by river water with mud on my knees

I wept and was held.

Sheltered in the shade

I looked up through His limbs

and saw a dove.

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