Walking on Water

By Mark Jarman

                  Matthew 14

        Always the same message out of Matthew.
The water Jesus walks on is life’s turbulence.
        He calms our trouble and lifts us up again.

To walk on water? That’s what’s puzzling
        that feat of antimatter, defeat of physics,
those beautiful unshod feet of cosmic truth

        for whom the whole performance is child’s play.
And unless one becomes as a little child
        the kingdom’s inaccessible by any route.

That water, then, its broken surface tension,
        collision of fracturing waves, apparent chaos,
its fractals turning infinite and weaving

        the netted skin between worlds, that web
of light and gravity which underpins our faith,
        water, a substance, stormy or pacific,

we know a myriad ways to get across it.
        But simply walking on it? Literally?
How far do you think you’d go before you fell

        through that convergence between time and space?
The water Jesus walked on wasn’t water
        only. It was the storm that made it rock.

Mark Jarman, “Walking on Water from The Heronry. Copyright © 2017 by Mark Jarman. Reprinted with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Sarabande Books.