"The Household Gods," John William Waterhouse, 1880, Wikimedia photo. Brithe standing, Thera on bended knee.
“The Household Gods,” John William Waterhouse, 1880, Wikimedia photo. Brithe standing, Thera on bended knee.

My family thought I was dead, limp body
Wrested from Isle au Haut, Maine icy waters,
Henna hair, death-distant blue eyes. I drew no
Breath, my skin cold-pale, for brief moments
My heart ceased. I remember chilling seas,
Clothes and boots water-heavy as I struggled
For evergreen clad rocky shores, gulping cold
Brine, glorious heavenly light streamed from
Welcoming hands above.

Unexpectedly, I had strength of three, voices
Within shouting to my cold-numbed mind, we
Or they began to swim, Brithe, Greenlandic
Norse girl, and Thera, child of ancient Greece,
Both propelling, arms pulling, feet kicking,
I hit face first upon ice-slicked granite shores.
By lantern light, grasping hands of family
Lifted me, my arms pain-stretched, rescued
From certain death of perilous winter seas.

Resurrected Jesus Appearing to Mary Magdalene, Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov, 1834, Wikipedia photo.
Resurrected Jesus Appearing to Mary Magdalene, Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov, 1834, Wikipedia photo.

Floating amongst snow clouds, in languages
Strange, I recall frantic prayers, Nordic and
Greek, votive offerings, my soul stretched
From Greenlandic whale paths to sun-warmed
Cerulean waves, towering cliffs of Sounion Bay,
Juxtaposed were crackling hearth fires, someone
Crying prayed, “Jesus, save Rebecca, please.”
Hearing this I gasped life-instilling breaths,
Restored by godly healing hands.

Days later, I returned to our hammered shores,
Along narrow footpaths that coursed the waves,
I greeted Brithe and Thera, earlier versions of
Myself, in æthered form, clad in green gown,
Dark hair and skirt, we merged amongst the
Trees. To which gods my life is owed, I do not
Know: Odin, Poseidon, or Jesus Christ, perhaps
All three. On this Easter morning, I pay respect
And pray to he who resurrected me, Maine girl,
Saved from dark and dangerous seas.

Aside from mixture of pagan and Christian, this Easter poem uses two
elements: 
light and saving hands, those of family and of Christ the Savior.

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