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“After the Confession” – A Poem for the Second Sunday in Lent by Andrew King

February 25, 2015

sailing_to_the_sunrise

Andrew KingSince last Fall, I’ve been enjoying Andrew King’s blog “A Poetic Kind of Place.” I was blessed this week by the following poem he wrote for the Second Sunday in Lent, Year B.  

AFTER THE CONFESSION
Mark 8:31-38

You tried to explain it to your brother once,
and to yourself, the sense you’ve had

growing within you since that day
Jesus called you to follow, and you did –

that sense of awe, of something forcing cracks
into familiar walls of thought, like that time

as a child when you first saw the sea, not
the Galilean waters from which your family fished,

but the Mediterranean, vast, blue, the deep waves
rolling in, the ships sailing out, their square sails

growing small as they headed to the horizon
from which the wind blew a salt scent

to your skin, while your thoughts tried to grasp
something big beyond words . . .

and today here is Jesus, asking what people
have been naming him, and you use the word

that comes so easily to your lips, it slips
like breathing from your mouth: “Messiah”,

yet you sense as you say it that you’re trying
to name the sea, but describing

just the beginning of an ocean of truth;
and sure enough: Jesus speaks about suffering death

almost as if it were part of a plan,
which surely can’t be, but he rebukes

your rebuke of him, talks of taking up a cross,
of losing life to find it –

suddenly you are again that young child
on the shore, watching a boat leave harbour

on a deeper sea than you’ve ever known –
and somehow the ship that’s leaning into the wind

has its deck underneath your own feet.

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