Contemplating Baptism

Artwork by Mona Adisa Brooks
Artwork by Mona Adisa Brooks

Charles Huckelbury


Looking down into the Merrimack River, I watched

the current point the submerged fronds downstream,

heads stretching on elongated necks, like a race crowd

leaning forward expectantly or perhaps a family gathered

for one last look at a departing son or daughter. I saw the flow

take the detritus of daily life–paper, Styrofoam, the occasional

shirt or sock–and sweep it all gently out of sight. I wondered

whether the river would do the same for my failures if I

stepped over the railing and dropped into the beckoning depths

and never came up.




Charles Huckelbury’s work has been published previously by The Poet’s Touchstone, the quarterly of the Poetry Society of New Hampshire, and by the Northern New England Review. He also has two books of poetry, Distant Thunder and Tales from the Purple Penguin, published by BleakHouse Publishing. He has won four PEN America prizes for both fiction and nonfiction. One of his short stories, “Gumbo,” was adapted for the stage and performed at the Kennedy Center in DC.

Mona Adisa Brooks works with porcelain, wood, fabric, candor and her muse, and tries to illustrate our humanness in her work. A professional studio artist of more than 40 years, she created “THE ART SOURCE,” teaching career self-assessment, planning and goal setting, and portfolio development for students of all ages. She is the owner of Trumpet, a fine art gallery in Peterborough, New Hampshire. View more of her work at