Baptism

Ann holding a copy of Fall Lines literary journal by Jasper Project.
Ann holding Fall Lines poetry journal which featured her work. Photo by Sarah Ashworth.

His family straight as stalks,
fix their eyes on him like sunflowers follow sun.

Dressed in white: short pants, long socks,
he peeks over the pleated shoulder
of a black robe, cants his eyes
from parents to pastor
who dampens his hair three times—
Father Son Holy Ghost.

After the service, I step into
the sunbeam of his mother’s smile,
pat his back.

He reaches for me
curls a dimpled arm
around my neck
presses the petal of his ear
to my cheek, and it is I
who is anointed.

Page 8, An Eclipse and a Butcher. First published in Fall Lines, The Jasper Project.