Within a shallow pool I stood,
Its water lapped my feet.
Yet never did I own my plight,
For my eyes refused to see.
“My feet are dry enough,” said I,
“What cause have I for fear?
If I so chose, I’d leave this spot,
But I’d rather stand right here.”
Along came a man with an anxious glance
Who stopped beside my pool.
He wrung his hands and looked my way,
And I thought him quite the fool.
“I beg your pardon, but I couldn’t but notice,”
He said to me with a frown,
“That your feet are wet, and if you don’t move,
I fear you soon shall drown!”
“Drown?” said I with a mocking laugh,
“What nonsense you can spin!
Surely such a little bit of water
Has never done a person in!”
And I thought to myself as I watched him go
With much shaking of his head,
“How absurd to think a few drops of water
Could soon leave a person dead!”
I stood alone in my own little pool,
Its water I never did see,
When along came another the following day
Who cried out with urgency:
“Dear child, beware! Your knees are all wet.
Come, there’s not a minute to waste!
The mire shall hold you and pull you down,
If you do not make haste!”
“What kind of simpleton,” asked I,
“Do you take me for,
That you could offer such malarkey?
You really are a bore!”
Laughing again, I watched him leave,
Then glanced down at my feet.
But lo! Not feet, but my own face
Unto my gaze did meet.
I wondered how this came about,
Right under my very eyes,
But why should I worry? After all,
It came not to my thighs!
To my reflection I smiled and asked,
“Who do they think they’re fooling,
To tell me that my little pool
Would be my own undoing?”
For many moons I stood my ground,
And looked down not again,
When another man did come my way
And greet me, “Hello, friend!
It seems to me you find yourself
In a hopeless situation.
Yet there’s still time to leave the muck
And change your current position.”
“Poppycock and balderdash!”
I sputtered with chagrin,
As the waters of my little pool
Splashed against my chin.
“I asked you not for you observations,
So, if you would be so kind,
I highly recommend you leave
And your own business mind!”
“Ignore your need you may, for a time.
For what difference does it make,
When the mire pulls you beneath the waves
And your own life it takes?
Open your eyes! Observe your doom!
And turn away while you can.
It cannot be much longer, I think,”
Answered me the man.
So I looked, and little effort it took
To see that he spoke true.
The water was rising up to my mouth!
There was nothing I could do.
“I must escape!” I told myself,
But was held fast by the mire.
“Help me!” I cried to the man on the shore,
“For I’m stuck, and will soon transpire!”
“I cannot help you, for the power
Is not mine,” he replied.
“I lack the strength and reach required,
Even if I tried.”
Then I cursed him and demanded,
“What good is it then,
To see one’s doom, if only to know
No help can come from men?”
“Help there may come, but from Another.
So this is my final plea:
Cry out! Cry out for help at once,
Your only hope is mercy.”
Terrified, I watched him go.
The water touched my lips.
I struggled to keep above the lake,
But the mire hugged my hips.
“Help!” I cried with all my might,
“Help, for I will drown!
I cannot save myself, and now
The mire pulls me down!”
I cried and cried for One to hear
And save me from my plight,
But who would look on such a dirty soul
With pity in their sight?
Alas! At last I saw my doom
Upon me, it drew nigh,
For what had been my little pool
Was now an ocean wide!
The threatening waves rose ever higher,
But I could not break free.
And no matter where I looked,
No shore was to be seen.
Then I knew that I must die,
And the fault alone was mine.
For warnings there had been in plenty,
But I chose to play blind.
No more in vain did I struggle,
But cried, “Forgive me, please!”
Then waited for the waves to rise
And bury me at sea.
With one final breath, I felt
The water reach my eyes.
But what was this? From the horizon
Something did arise:
A mighty wave of fearful power
Raced across the flood.
It came for me, but not of water—
For it was red with blood.
I thought that it must surely kill me,
But nowhere could I go.
Instead, I closed my eyes and waited
For its dreaded blow.
Drops of blood did kiss my face
As it towered overhead,
Then the wave came crashing down—
And so I was dead.
Or so I thought, until my eyes
They opened, and I saw
The blood surrounded me and drove
My sea away, in all!
The mire that held fast for years
And pulled down on me
Was no match for the wave’s might,
And at last I was pulled free!
I rose up to the surface and
Floated all the day,
As the crimson wave gently
Bore me far away.
I woke to see my feet washed clean,
No mire to be found.
And then I wept with tears of joy—
For I stood on solid ground.