The Provocation of Massah


Verily, I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea: it shall be done.
                                                            —The Gospel of Matthew

It is as though we doubt still the fig tree:

Like Abram gone into Hagar, we have supplanted;
our dubiousness has divided the bloodline,
pitted the inheritors
and impugned the covenant.

I stand like Zachariah
come from the temple,
and dumb,
as from a harrowing vision,
before this barren land.

Bread rained from Heaven,
the Virgin conceived,
the branches withered—
and yet we test:

In place of faith
we make signs unto ourselves
casting mountains wither we will
and, out of fear of emptiness,
filling even the valleys.

Kayford Mtn., W.V.

Chad Gilpin was born and raised outside of Lexington, Kentucky, and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. Most recently he co-authored and participated in a National Geographic Young Explorer Grant focusing on mountaintop removal strip mining.

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  1. […] 2010 By MARY ANNE REESE Pruning the Rubber Tree By LEIGH ANNE HORNFELDT The Provocation of Massah By CHAD GILPIN Some Men from Kentucky (for Ron Whitehead) By JINN FULLER Cordawood By SUSAN […]

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