By Mike Richardson
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I was the carrier
What I had brought life
But I never thought that I would
Point the way a second time.
And me from a small northern town
Now serving those with City agendas.
Two strangers stood questioning
And I recognised their inflection
The cut of their vowels and idiom.
Stalking me like prey till I was home
They didn’t know I had reason to know them
My donkey is still nervous of crowds.
Still pauses when a branch sways suddenly
Still will not carry water any more.
Which is why I am a carrier again,
Directing them as my master instructed
To the room upstairs prepared for feasting.
I am the carrier
Putting in the jars for purification
Fetching and carrying water for the people
Like I did when I first saw
That water has the power to restore
Faith in parched and desiccated souls.
I’m reconciled to my work
Wondering back and forth in my mind
Ignoring the distance thought or steps have covered
Not mindful of the journey only the destination.
There is always the chance when all is done
Of a cup of the finest vintage.
I shall carry the memory
The shock and amazement at water
Transformed to wine red as lamb’s blood
I cannot drink without looking first
In case it happens again.
Three years on I gaze on these men
Who having exhausted all avenues
In this busy city looking for a room,
Who have come to me the water carrier.
And rivers start to tumble deep inside
Like an ever rolling stream.
You shall have a room, a place.
My master has made it so.
Above the dark city that heralded a king
A special time is to begin.
The best room in all Jerusalem
Is here because He is here
Like three years or so ago
He calls to me for water.
I come expecting to see new wine
And there it is in a new skin.
Humanity recreated, a second Adam
“Just a bowl,” He says “for washing.
And a sprig of hyssop with a towel.”
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