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Amber Albee Swenson

Third Prize 2009 Novice Christian Poetry Contest $200

About this Christian Poet:
I have a BFA in creative writing/literature, and found I need the structure of forms when writing poetry! My husband and I have been married for 13 years and have four children. In 2007 I published a book of Bible studies for mothers: Bible Moms: Life Lessons from Mothers of the Bible.

About this Poem:
My husband introduced me to the Boundary Waters. It occurred to me while I was taking in the indescribable beauty that this was evidence that God created the earth, and that all those who had been there before me, as well as every drip of water, animal, and tree, could testify to that end. As David said in Psalm 19:1 "the heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands."

Evidence: Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

"And God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. Genesis 1:31"

As far as I can see—water. It sits
beneath spring's greenest hills, still and cold,
holding the thoughts of early travellers.
A paddle's stroke stirs them and they surface
in drips. I let them run. Like heavy sap
they come to me, and as tamaracks, old
as creation's cliffs, creak, the voices speak.
Those who've been here before me knew.
                                                                                         In back
woods, under shadow of the hills and trees—
a whisper, faint against the loon's low cry,
comes to me in the night. Asleep beneath
the red pine, I breathe the lonely whistle,
wake to shore reeds' rustle above a night
frog's song. An owl's flush grows distant, the loon
and moose are still. The night responds with
voices of men who never questioned God.
They heard and saw as I do, and they knew.

Copyright ©2009 by Amber Albee Swenson