Blindman At the Gate

Water turned to wine
The miracle is the time
That it did not take
For common to turn extraordinaire
Tap water transformed to carménère
Drawn from pots of ritual purity
Taken to the master of the party
Hints of plum and kingdom come

In Nazareth he was called the carpenter
In Cana he became a master vintner
Sommelier said it’s a hundred point wine
The miracle-worker did it without a vine
A whole barrel of vintage year thirty
Better than the best from Cape Verde
All so the feast would not cease
A toast to Mary for her idea

We walked from Nazareth to Cana
In the fall of my fifty-fourth year
Talking Jesus all along the way
Took us the better part of a day
Every other store up and down the line
A Christian selling some kind of wine
Call it a entrepreneurial witness to—
Jesus’ first miracle

Water turned to wine
The mystery is the time
It takes for my own transformation
A slow and painful fermentation
With a soul like crushed grapes
I’m a dusty bottle in God’s cellar
But the winemaker knows his craft
He makes all things beautiful in their time


When we are crushed like grapes, we cannot think of the wine we will become. –Henri Nouwen

(The artwork is The Concert by Marc Chagall, 1957)