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Jenna Wysong Filbrun – Church

Jenna Wysong Filbrun’s Church is an ode to nature, life, and belonging in a time of spiritual upheaval, an ode to the wilderness, which was humanity’s first place of worship. With the poem’s opening lines, we are warmly brought into the wild places of the world, which are viewed as divine and sacred by a vast majority of the world. The inclusiveness of nature and our inherent connection to it, both as a source of truth and as lifeforms born from it, are presented beautifully and simply to the readers. Church ends in a question, instead of an answer, emphasizing the search for a holy truth.

“All important ideas must include the trees, the mountains, and the rivers.” – Mary Oliver

My church is always unlocked
and always full.
It always welcomes
but never demands.
I’m actually not necessary
at all,
but I’m important
because I’m alive.
When I arrive,
the congregation
is already singing.
“Isn’t this glorious?”
they intone.
Elk glide over the tundra
at the tree line
like a cloud, or a vapor.
Streams run over rocks
in the meadows
like a violin.
Clouds pillow the peaks
before rain washes out
all unnecessary accruals.
On and on. Always.
“You are this way, too,”
they insist.
Can that be possible?

Jenna Wysong Filbrun

Jenna Wysong Filbrun is the author of The Unsaid Words (Finishing Line Press 2020), a chapbook about life with chronic illness. Her poems have appeared in Avocet and at redletterchristians.org and are forthcoming in Crosswinds Poetry Journal. She is a graduate of Goshen College with a BA in English. She is married to Mike, and they have two dogs, Oliver and Lewis. Her Twitter handle is @Jenna_W_Filbrun.

1 thought on “Jenna Wysong Filbrun – Church”

  1. Jenna, I read one of your poems, Church, for the first time. It moved me and I thought it was beautiful. Thank you, proud of you.

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