Skip to main content

“Here’s a truth, friends,”
He said before leaving:
“Anyone with faith
will do greater things
than these when I go
to the Father.”

Hyperbole. It had to be.
Greater things than
water into wine?
Raging seas calmed?
Lepers cleansed, dead
raised? Really, Jesus?

Then I saw the tree—
dead, fallen years before,
limbs snapped raw like
broken bones, its trunk
a shroud-less corpse
still teeming with life:

nursery for seedlings,
respirator for carbon,
canteen for fresh water;
host to spiders, snails, voles;
construction site for ants
where microbes multiply

as sunlight showers
down a holey canopy,
mothering life miraculous
as moss and myriad as stars,
the Father echoing one
thing and the same:

Greater things by far!

Mark Hiskes

Mark Hiskes teaches English at Holland Christian High School. In 2019 he published a collection of poems, Standing With Alyosha (Dos Madres Press). He has published poems and other writing in The Christian Century, Sojourners, The Banner, The Church Herald, and other journals. He published a spiritual autobiography, "Putting Sigsbee Street to Rest" in Perspectives: A Journal of Reformed Thought (April 1997).  He is married to Cindy Hiskes and attends Third Reformed Church of Holland, Michigan.