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.”