Baptism

January 6, 2011
Richard M. Berlin, MD

Volume 27, Issue 12

Mist rises from the Mediterranean and fills the black folds of mountains like incense . . .

Mist rises from the Mediterranean

and fills the black folds of mountains like incense

in the robes of four priests, each one sprinkling

holy water, chanting to the baby

held in his mother’s arms like a still life

of Mary and Jesus. When I close my eyes

I hear music from the wilderness, Greek

names for God chanted like Jews, like Turks,

and all the holy men whose religions grew

here before science, every God like the twilight

wind pouring through the windows, greeting each

burning face with the same cool air, the cedar

doors opened to a view of the ridge-line,

a red band streaked across the horizon

pierced by the ancient light of the evening star.