Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal

Test of Faith

Sandi Keaton-Wilson


I remember how the smell of sickness was heightened in the heat of dog days as the baby's life streamed down Mommy's dusty, tan legs. She lay back from the edge of the porch, a basket of pole beans by her side.

“Get the Bible,” Granny said, tending to her. The screen door double swatted in seconds as I sped to obey. “Turn to Ezekiel 16:6.”

Mommy's tears rushed down as fast as the flow pooling on the ground. My pudgy fingers fumbled, unfamiliar with the Old Testament.

“Hurry,” Granny urged.

I prayed hard, first for Mommy, next for the baby, and finally to find the powerful verse rumored to stop the flow of blood.

My tongue tumbled over the words, “And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live...”

Five or five hundred minutes passed.

“It's not working! I'm going to go down to Kelsey's and call Doc,” I said, too much in shock to move.

“I've never known it to fail. Just call on the Lord. Your faith's faltering, child.” I was used to Granny's admonishing.

Mommy's eyes rolled back as I pillowed her head on the Bible.

After all that loss, I never touched a Bible again until now. It's this gift that moves me to press these pages with my palm, pray the child I carry will hold fast. Live.

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Sandi Keaton-Wilson, Somerset, Kentucky, is an art activist who writes prose, poetry and plays.  Her work has been published and produced both regionally and nationally.

© Sandi Keaton-Wilson

Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal ISSN 1554-8449, Copyright © 2004-2010