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Glenn McKee

Honorable Mention: 2017 Utmost Christian Poetry Contest $100

About this Christian Poet:
Glenn McKee and his wife Deborah live in Post Mills, Vermont. They are members of Thetford Baptist Church, where Glenn serves on the Elder Board and Deborah serves in Missions.  Both are active in music ministry. They have built several fences together. Glenn has a longstanding fondness for the genus Salix, the willows.  

About this Poem:
"Adam's Fence" is set in the Garden of Eden prior to the Fall of humankind. It is a "what if" poem. If the first couple had acted out Romans 16:19—"I want you to be wise concerning what is good, and simple concerning what is evil," perhaps they would not have yielded to temptation. In the poem, Adam is adhering to the the warnings of Jesus in Matthew 5:29-30 and in Mark 9:42-48, where Jesus prescribes taking any practical steps necessary to remove something that could cause one to sin. In Adam's case, he is fencing off the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, so the availability of its fruit will not cause them to sin. What if...?

Adam's Fence

The gently warming Greater-light-that-rules-
the-day illuminates through mist on high,
and Adam smiles at Eve. “We’re going to make
a fence,” he says, “To start, we’ll gather willows.”

She loves the streambed. Riffles blinking down
the pebble bars, the shapes and shades of plants
and all the singing things that fly between.

They thank their God for Salix. Adam cuts
while Eve is all about the gathering.
She doesn’t worry he’ll cut off his hand.
She doesn’t worry he’ll gouge out his eye.

For all she knows, either one would grow back.
For all he knows, their project is essential. 

“We want to safeguard Father’s tree. Its fruit
is not for us. Without it we’re content.” 
While Adam places uprights, Eve weaves fence
circumferencing the dripline of the tree.

Now done, they stroll around their willow wall.
“It’s very good,” says Eve, and Adam knows
their fence is better than the fruit beyond.

Copyright ©2017 by Glenn McKee