Conversion on the Little Patuxent

I crouch makeshift above the eddy,
crude, temporary, dingy,
reeking of brushed pollen
and storm drains.

I drink from the creek because it’s savage,
take the runoff in my palms because it’s savage,
rinse and chew the unnamed roots
because they taste of celery and toxin.

Not once did it kill me.

But there, above the eddy,
looking down upon the still,
mud supping on my shoes,
I saw him – Jesus – six-legged,
spread wide as if nailed
to the water itself.

Unschooled to the subtler laws
pertaining to such miracles,
I knew only this – the living clings
to water as the icons cling to death.
Such a silly thought for a germ, for a boy.

I was young then – catholic.
I’ve moved off those savage things,
wound, wounded with wonder.
And though I plunder the hollow abides,
something calls upon my shriveling mind –
Return. For what you seek upon the water strides.

Image: Tanguy Sauvin on Unsplash

15 Thoughts

    1. Thank you, Mae. This one came in a rush while washing dishes. Now I have tepid greasy water and a sink full of pots and pans. It is interesting that when the hands are busy, our heads are free to wander.


      1. Mostly a curse I think – the never ending chore of a couple that loves to cook, okay, I prep, she cooks, I wash up. Great deal for amazing food. Hey, could you give me an idea for a Greek dish I could make for her. Most of the Greek food here in the US, particularly where I live is the same old staples – Gyros, Stuffed Grape Leaves, Pastitsio, Saganaki, Spanakopita. I’ve made them all. I’d like to try something more local – regional. Any thoughts?


      2. Ok, these are the ones you find in touristy places! We cook a lot of legumes, like lentils either in the form of soup or not, same for beans, chikpeas, lima beans and artichokes. Most times intomato sauce. I’ll give you one that’s Italian but I remember my grandma making it… I think I may have relatives in Italy too. Try making “Pastafazoola”! It’s easy. You’ll find it online in recipes. It’s beansoup with some sort of maccaroni (I think you’d call it) in it. One of my favorites is and I quote “Greek Dilled Peas with Artichoke Hearts”! Try it!


      3. Thanks Mae, I make Pasta Fagioli often. Delicious. It is a standard vegetarian dish on my menu at the cafe. I will absolutely try “Greek Dilled Peas with Artichoke Hearts”. My wife will love it. I just checked out a few recipes, simple enough. To make it a full meal, would you recommend serving over rice, potatoes, or with perhaps chicken?


      4. Will do. I’ll gather up the supplies and make it this week. All the ingredients are very easy to find. Thank you so much. If it goes well, which I am sure it will, I’ll serve it to my guests at the cafe.


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