Poem-a-Day Friday: Franz Wright

 

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Today is a special day for my little family. Our T-Rexy (aka Brooksie) is being baptized in a quiet backyard ceremony at my mother in law’s house this evening.

On Monday I will be posting the words I’m planning to read at Brooksie’s baptism tonight. (That post may also answer any questions you might have about my theology and why this Southern Baptist raised thing would practice infant baptism.)

But, today, a poem I LOVE (by Franz Wright, whose work I also love) about baptism. In fact, that’s its name.

Baptism

By Franz Wright

That insane asshole is dead
I drowned him
and he’s not coming back. Look
he has a new life
a new name
now
which no one knows except
the one who gave it.

If he tastes
the wine now
as he is allowed to
it won’t, I’m not saying it
will
turn to water

however, since You
can do anything, he
will be safe

his first breath as an infant
past the waters of birth
and his soul’s past the death waters, married—

Your words are spirit
and life.
Only say one
and he will be healed.

 

“Baptism,” Franz Wright, Walking to Martha’s Vineyard (New York, NY: Knopf, 1992), 44-45

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