BAPTISM BY IMMERSION NEAR THE TRINITY RIVER

baptism3
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Grapeland, Texas 1959

It was November and she would not wait until Spring
so we drove to a farm close by the church and gathered round a cattle tank
to sing

“Shall we gather at the river…”

But the Trinity was treacherous and full of gar.
The Trinity was full of holes.

The preacher wore white overalls, the woman a gown made from a bed
sheet.
They stepped into shivering water like two herons.

I remember the smell of mud around the green pond
covered hard with hoof prints and patties
the steers we boys had driven off with swords of willow.

It did not take long to hold a hankerchief over her nose and mouth
to let her three times down into the body of the Lord.
She went down shivering into ecstatic waters.

She went down shivering in ecstatic water.

 

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