Some Things Must Be Believed to Be Seen – Kevin Brown

St John’s Episcopal Church, Richmond, VA

No child needs to be convinced
the wind exists, even on days
it doesn’t lift leaves and trash
over buildings or around cars.

Not so with the soul or justice
or even awareness,
those unseen things

we doubt and mistrust.
Because we cannot carve consciousness
out of our bodies,
from behind the peritoneum

or somewhere in the folds
of our brain or wherever
it might reside,
hold it before forty medical students
who can’t heal it anyway,

we watch for wonders and signs
as if we are Phoenician fishers
scanning the sky to see if
we should set sail this morning
or go home and mend our nets.

We think we know we think
and we are,
but we are as ignorant of our selves
as we are of our cars,

where most of us cannot tell a crankshaft
from a carburetor,
yet have faith
that if we press one pedal, we stop,

while the other takes us wherever
our free will wants to go,
whether the wind is blowing
or there is rain just over
the next rise in the road.

Kevin BrownKevin Brown is a Professor at Lee University. He has published three books of poetry: Liturgical Calendar: Poems (Wipf and Stock); A Lexicon of Lost Words (winner of the Violet Reed Haas Prize for Poetry, Snake Nation Press); and Exit Lines (Plain View Press). He also has a memoir, Another Way: Finding Faith, Then Finding It Again, and a book of scholarship, They Love to Tell the Stories: Five Contemporary Novelists Take on the Gospels. You can find out more about him and his work at