Holy Ground

By Christine Chandler Prater

Honorable Mention, Poetry, Create | Encounter 2022



Boot bottoms, dusty with holy ground, trampled

Divine abundance desiccated by gulping

greed and inebriated industry


Land watered by war and plowed by gore

Opulence obtained through oppression

Suffering sown as seed


Flags planted instead of freedom

The stolen ground grumbles and beneath it

the blood of stolen bodies groans


Loam—once fertile and fruitful—

now crumbles, as parched and poisoned

as the American church witness


Stewardship forsaken for profit

Creation exploited, embezzled

The plunder hailed as God’s bounty


Cultivating dispossession, a mockery

of freedom. We pledge blind allegiance

to truth untold, praise a hidden history


Shoulders proud, hands over hearts

of stone, erecting monuments

where we should be kneeling graveside




Artist Statement:

This poem is a reflection on the poor stewardship and exploitation of creation and humanity for the sake of greed and industry in America.

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