by Richard Stoltzfoos

I saw the pines inverted in the stillest lake,
With great roots gripping, hanging from the earth,
The earth that God sustains, we say, and spake
In princely stories of chiastic birth.

Upheaval happens everywhere; no place on earth
Is safe from earthquakes, sinkholes, floods, landslides—
Nor is it clear why gravity is not reversed;
Where danger is, dependence is implied.
Lie on your back, and keep from falling. Try.
Why not fall all that distance to the open sky?
Say gravity, or say a hand divine.

We stay. A cave-born baby cries below a town.
Our God came from above—from deepest mines,
Which fact we grasp if Christ did turn earth upside down.
Dependent and suspended hang the pines.

Richard Stoltzfoos is the son of Adin,
son of Wilmer,
son of Elam,
son of Moses,
son of Samuel,
son of John,
son of Christian,
son of Nicholas Stoltzfus,
who in the year 1766 emigrated from Europe,
being born of Christian Gottlieb Stoltzfus,
of the Saxon line of that name
which began in the year of our Lord 400,
by the provision of God, in German Saxony.

Photography by Kenneth Godoy

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