#poem #poetry #jordan #religious

First Meeting
I follow the crowd pulled by curiosity.
The day is hot, even for morning it's hot.
The Jordon shimmers through the reeds, cold green,
licking the foot prints at the water's edge
into flatness. He waits for us, glowing,
on the far bank, hand in welcome to cross.
The new sun dazzles, but some, bright blinded,
enter the water. The splashing of feet dulls
as they reach midstream, their clothes drag them back.
Waist deep, women toss their girdle aside,
rend their simlah, and bare breasted proceed
to receive his welcome. I sit on a dune
as others go across. Some with clothes, folded,
held above their head, naked men, boys, women
sailing infants over in fig baskets.
I do not go. Nor does the carpenter.
He takes stale bread from his bag, breaks it,
gives it to me. I nod. A cheer goes up
over the river as blessings begin.
People dance, sing, hands clap, laughter rings
as one by one these simple folk immerse
themselves, to emerge joyful and saved.
My tongue fishes an unmilled grain from the crust.
Curiosity satisfied, we leave.

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