Baptized at the Creek by Shutta Crum (ONE GOOD MEMORY Series)

Silver Birch Press

vasyl helevychuk copyBaptized at the Creek
by Shutta Crum

All us kids stood—wide-eyed. Cousin Billy
stuck his thumb in his mouth, as they laid Aunt Gertie backward
under the brown waters of the creek.

Right then and there, sacredness came floating ‘round us.
The holler got so warm and holy I could hardly breathe.
I reached out and squeezed Sissy’s hand.

Aunts and uncles, standing witness, shouted Hallelujah!
and raised their arms to heaven. Billy peed on a tree.
We giggled. Uncle Winn snagged him with his arm.
Grandpa prayed.
Praise the Lord!

When they helped Aunt Gertie up the bank of the creek
her clothes clung sopping over her rounder parts,
the way honey clings to a biscuit. I tried not to look.

We ate corn bread, fried chicken, green beans and ham hocks,
homemade rolls, canned peaches, and Grandma’s pies.
Billy wiggled, corralled between Uncle Winn and Grandpa.

Cousin Louann…

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