There is a river

Between the so far and the not yet is the not.
Before Lazarus is the three days;
before the miracle the stone rolled over the womb.

In beginning is the Spirit-brooded waters,
darkness and chaos.
You leave everything behind on the shore
(so much you leave behind, so much)
for the amniotic drowning,
mother’s belly of the whale,
hear the baptismal eulogy,
Mary, what is conceived in you
(in darkness, holy water), is seed buried.

(After—do not be afraid—you will rise.
Heavens open, legs spread wide
(the labor is hers, not yours).
You come up out of the water
dazed into the bright world,
world of light, world of breathing,
where angels will greet you joying
and cut the umbilical past.)

But first—do not be afraid— the drowning.
What comes up must go down.
Before the promise, the wilderness.

Walk the floor of the sea
where Pharaoh can’t follow.

Go out into the desert.
There is a river there.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

January 9, 2020

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