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Ellen Gray

About this Christian Poet:
I live with my husband and two children in Pleasanton, California. I also teach debate at the local high school.

John the Baptist

The parables help
but these unnecessary miracles
a walk on water?
Isn't belief toil enough
without the burden
of extemporaneous theatrics.
The night after his burial
we remembered in darkness
our Prophet, the sign of water,
his baptisms put current into sand
and drowned our jerky lives
back to flesh.

We do not want to remain
unchanged.
In the undertow of doubt
was John's baptism wide enough
to withstand the belly of a whale?

The down by the river message
sounds dry in prison walls
the pressure of faith lifts
like Anteaus, the question
we all stumble to ask
Are you the one?
We wait for an answer
that will not answer the wait.
The tongue that never tasted
lusts of the flesh, cut out
his severed brains on a platter
to serve the lusts of the flesh
until all that is left to us
is the burden of his headless body
carried like a pointed finger
full of our accusations of hope.

What is the good news
when the preacher's head
becomes a platter?
Tonight, baptism crushes us
no prophet pulls us up,
we toil for air.
Perhaps a miracle…
a walk on the waves
is the necessary hand
under our head.

Copyright ©2004 by Ellen Gray