Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal

The Baptism

Sandi Keaton-Wilson

Preacher says that only
flowing water washes sins away
and the colder the water,
the steeper the bank,
the better my sacrifice.
With Sunday skirt pinned
between my legs,
hair a single silken braid,
I wait, then wade into the green
of Little South Fork River.
Mama stands on its bank, tears
dripping into its depths while
Papa lines out, “Are You
Washed in the Blood of the Lamb?”
I’m not afraid of immersion
but scared that the boys gathered
with the congregation
will see white blouse plastered
against my breasts,
nipples like goose bumps
rising up with me
from that watery grave.


Sandi Keaton-Wilson is a writer of prose, poetry and plays from Somerset, Kentucky. Her work has appeared widely in the Appalachian Region in journals and anthologies. She does dramatic readings of her work and enjoys watching her words come to life in live productions of her plays.

© Sandi Keaton-Wilson

Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal ISSN 1554-8449, Copyright © 2004-2012