The people of South Carolina
A hard rain on dry ground,
grief in torrents whelms and washes
away all hopes and heart’s desires,
artifacts of another life,
closetful of useless treasures.
That may not be the worst.
Seemingly insidious, it
sinks and saturates deep places,
buried strata, bone and spirit,
eroding granite character.
Yet here is the wonder:
time distills, darkness purifies.
In some unthought-of aquifer,
rivering beneath barren rock,
it runs its course and waits its day
‘til someone drills a well,
and suddenly it surges up
to irrigate a garden, slake
a thirst, wash away the tearstains,
or, poured into the empty font,
baptize the newly born.
PAUL HOOKER is a teaching elder member of New Covenant Presbytery and associate dean for ministerial formation and advanced studies at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.