1978
Water from a Basin
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“Water from a Basin,” Ensign, Mar. 1978, 44

Water from a Basin

Third Place All-Church Poetry Contest

How differently the sound of water falling into water,

As it drops from hands just dipped into a basin,

Can approach the ear.

Pilate,
Masquerading in his crimson robes,
In that instant
That fell for him forever out of time,
Heard the water splashing flatly
With a thickness that to him resembled blood,
And knew that it would never cleanse him.
And he shuddered
As the water twitched and quivered
In the basin made of gold,
Mocking and distorting the judicious unconcern
He had carefully arranged upon his face.

Jesus,
Laying aside his garments and taking up a towel
And with the water in a basin made of clay,
Washed the world’s gray-colored dust
From the feet of his apostles
And heard the holy music
Of the dropping water
Echo sweetly through the universe
And saw the ripples spread in perfect circles
Far beyond the stars
And through the Spirit felt the approbation
Of the Father: “Thou art my beloved Son.”

Photography by Marilyn Erd