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Frank Eannarino

About this Christian Poet:
I have an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. My work has appeared in (or will appear in) Exquisite Corpse, the Denver Quarterly, North American Review (U of N. Iowa), American Literary Review (U of N. Texas), Rambunctious Review, and now here. I teach English at Triton College and Morton College in the Chicago area.

"Missed the Boat" is really about Biblical interpretation to me. If anyone other than Our Lord (and Peter, briefly) has ever walked on water, they are keeping quiet about it. The poem is supposed to address the paranoia that can ensue when trying to follow the scriptures without acknowledging its metaphorical content. Also, that it is my firm belief that most Christians really have "tried" to walk on water, just to see what would happen, and found themselves swimming.

Missed the Boat

I'm certain every Christian
at sometime or another
attempts to walk on water.

It seems inevitable—
just a stroll towards the tide
in the beginning,

off to dip my toe,
do the breast stroke
my body language says to the casual observer,

this personal test of faith
turns from walking into wading
in no time flat.

Surely wouldn't announce it
to the people on the beach: "This time I'll do it!
Wish me luck! See you in the skies!"

like when I tried to climb the rain
and fell in a puddle
thwarted by gravity

Note to self—
I am faithless.

With true faith
newspaper headlines might read
"Man runs across the English Channel."
"Man circumnavigates the oceans
on foot."

If my faith were the size
of a mustard seed, I could move
a mountain.

So water-walking faith
must be the size of a grain of sand,
maybe an amoeba.

With faith the size of a Lima bean
I could craft my own planet,
ordain my own laws of physics
and be done with it.

Anyone could walk on water
given a healthy running start.
That would be fair,

even stones need momentum
and the proper angle
to skip across the lake.

Grapefruit-sized faith
and I'm molding my own people
from clay,
giving divine CPR,

planting a lush garden
to later kick them out of
when the tragic, serendipitous
fall from grace occurs.

And then, I could
come among them myself
in my mercy,
telling stories of how faith
is related to seeds.

Copyright©2004 by Frank Eannarino