"John 6:17" by Stanley Plumly was published in The Atlantic in November 2001:
The disciples out at sea again.
So many complications in the mission.
Five loaves and two small fishes
to feed the sick Tiberian five thousand,
who want to crown this miracle a king.
But Jesus will not suffer them their vanity
and leaves their lonely company to bread.
He finds another mountain: thus the twelve
abandoned, putting out to sea in the generalized
direction of Capernaum, lost without their master.
A storm blows up, the kind that makes of sailors
disciples of us all. Three, four miles,
twenty-five or thirty furlongs,
rowing in a wind that feels like crime.
They know they should have waited at the shore.
Fear, they know, is their faith tested.
Fear of the figure they now see walking toward them.
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