The AI Chatbot Cannot Explain Psalm 23

by Andrew Taylor-Troutman

It can cite the approximate date of authorship,
quote sermons and pop culture references
to detail how this psalm has been interpreted
over centuries by Jews and Christians.

But you need to be human to know loss;

to walk in the valley of the shadow of death,
surrounded on all sides by threats;

to feel lost, unsure of even your next step,
much less the paths of righteousness;

to mourn before an open grave,
as the worn words of the King James
actually do not & cannot explain,
but rather point beyond your pain—
green pastures are possible once again.

Andrew Taylor-Troutman is the author of Gently Between the Words: Essays and Poems and pastor of Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. 

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