Baptism in the Forest

I dove into the forest to bury a body.

It was my own body,

The water-logged flesh that had been

Soaking in shame for 22 years.

It was too heavy to carry around for one day longer,

So I sought a proper burial place.

I argued with myself

As I pounded the pine-laced trails,

Carcass in toe.

I couldn’t remember when Shame was born,

But I was determined that today was the funeral.

As I worked up my scattered eulogy,

The trees began to sing the requiem

As they showered their own buds down on me.

You see, they had to shed some things

In order to grow–

The flowers for Shame’s funeral.

And with my feet I buried them,

The buds and the body of shame,

as I moved forward.

There, I worked out my salve-ation with fear and trembling

And my sweat became my baptism.

While I saw no doves and the sky did not open,

I knew I was beloved.

I left the grave with empty hands

And grace.

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4 responses to “Baptism in the Forest”

  1. redgladiola says :

    A great story with great symbolism. ❤

  2. Laurel Alice says :

    Hi Autumn, I found your blog after looking at your recent post on the MFSA blog (I’m also a young United Methodist hoping to inspire some change)! I loved your post there and found it very thought-provoking, and I saw you had a personal blog so I had to check it out.

    I’m glad I did, because this is one of the most beautiful, relevant, and powerful poems I’ve read in a very long time. I’m looking forward to reading more from you! 🙂


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