In Search of a Container for Jesus – a poem by Beth Oast Williams

In Search of a Container for Jesus



This is how the talk 
of vessels starts,
the ark that might be Mary.
Or maybe it begins with the boat
that, despite carrying literally
the weight of the world, 
so easily moves on. 
How dreadful to be God's captain,
turning away the splinket
and the flomb just because
she could claim no spouse. 
It's not just attachment
but what's held inside, organic
coffee in a cup, fresh bread 
brought home
inside a brown paper bag. 
Somehow the theory holds up
if you understand emptiness 
is not a random
mental condition. 
You must believe God came
to me in a dream and invited me
for tea and biscuits, but it’s never
just that. It’s about my body
and what it could hold,
the trash receptacle,
the kitchen cabinet drawer.
Everything has a place to go
and every woman 
looks like an open jar,
or so it is written.

Beth Oast Williams’ poetry has appeared in West Texas Literary Review, Wisconsin Review, Glass Mountain, GASHER Journal, Poetry South, Fjords Review, and Rattle’s Poets Respond, among others.  Her poems have been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize. Her first chapbook, Riding Horses in the Harbor, was published in 2020.

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