A poem for you

As my students were writing their mid-terms this evening, I found my muse kicking into poetic mode. I don’t write poetry all that often, but for whatever reason these words came to me — and with a really odd meter, too (7-6-5). I now share them with you.


BAPTISM

 

Climbing out from the water
I can’t help but notice
How heavy I feel.

Looking over my shoulder
I think “How relaxing
it was to just float.”

I glance up at the lifeguard
Who ordered us out from
this source of pleasure.

As a boy my obedience
Without hesitation
I would have offered.

Now, resentment I’m feeling!
That pool means my freedom!
Why shouldn’t I plunge?

I suspect why he works here:
“His father’s the owner.”
I choose rebellion.

Enjoying the pool’s pleasure
I head out for the deep
“I can handle it!”

Then my arms start to tire
I develop a cramp
My folly drowns me.

I was seeking the goodness
But I sought it too much
Now it is evil.

Filled up with desparation
I cannot save myself
I am so alone.

Without even my knowing
My saviour takes notice
And comes to my aid.

Condescending from his chair
Joining my condition
The lifeguard is here!

He takes me upon himself
Bearing my weight of choice
And paying its price.

Through his final exertion
I’m saved from the water
More dead than alive.

But for him, he is stricken,
Stunned by my resistance
To his saving help.

He goes down for the third time
To a watery grave
Gripped close by my sin.

The tense passage of silence
We begin to despair:
The pool contains death.

But wait — now he surfaces!
He climb out of the tomb
Strong like his Father.

He approaches my limp form
He puts breath in my mouth
The pneuma of life.

Alert with a new spirit
And regretting my pride
I apologize.

But his face is not angry
He offers to teach me
The right way to swim.

What an opportunity!
Learning from the master!
I gladly accept.

My world is now the water
And — knowing my limits —
The pool brings me joy.

So I now swim securely
With trust in the lifeguard
Back high on his throne.