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Coaltown Jesus
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Coaltown Jesus

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“I would have been here sooner, but traffic on I-55 was awful.”

Walker shouldn’t be so surprised to find Jesus standing in the middle of his bedroom. After all, he prayed for whoever was up there to help his mom, who hasn’t stopped crying since Noah died, two months ago. But since when have prayers actually been answered? And since when has Jesus been so...irreverent?

As astounding as Jesus’ sudden appearance is, it’s going to take more than divine intervention for Walker to come to terms with his brother’s death. Why would God take seventeen-year-old Noah when half of the residents in his mom’s nursing home are waiting to die? And why would he send Jesus to Coaltown, Illinois, to pick up the pieces? If he really wanted to help, why couldn’t he have kept Noah from dying?

In a spare, weighty, and often humorous text, renowned poet Ron Koertge tackles some of life’s biggest questions—and humanizes the savior in a way that highlights the divinity in all of us.


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