By Charlene Moskal
AT AROUND AGE SEVEN I’d lie in tepid water in the rose-pink porcelain bathtub. I would look down the skinny length of me, close my eyes, imagine I was Jesus; plain brown hair parting in the middle, floating out, touching my shoulders, arms stretched to the limit of the tub, legs straight, feet crossed. I was a Jewish girl enamored of a Christian god, the Jesus image on my friend’s calendar. On each of the twelve glossy pages he was serene and pictured doing loving things – holding children, smiling at the disciples, wearing a golden halo to show just how good he was. And always there were blue skies and white clouds from which emanated shafts of light. He was my misunderstood hero. When the water turned cold, I waited until it drained out, left me naked, chilled lying at the bottom of the rose-pink porcelain bathtub. I stood, stepped out, exposed, confident that the waters baptized me in a faith of my own making. I knew the gods wouldn’t care that I was a girl who waited for the power to perform miracles.
About the Author
Charlene Stegman Moskal is a Teaching Artist for The Alzheimers Poetry Project under the auspices of the Las Vegas Poetry Promise Organization. Charlene is a visual artist, a performer, a voice for NPR’s Theme and Variations and a writer. She is published in numerous anthologies, magazines and online, most recently, Connecticut River Review, Sandstone & Silver; an Anthology of Nevada Poets, Southwestern American Literature, Duende, and Oyez Review. Zeitgeist Press is the publisher of her second chapbook, One Bare Foot. Charlene is in her seventh decade, loves laughter and coffee ice cream hot fudge sundaes.