Tuesday, July 13, 2021

The Sacrifice of Isaac

I wonder if he struggled, strained at the cord,
stared disbelievingly at the gathered branches,
knew his father’s mind at all.
Did he see the angel through the panic in his eyes,
hear its voice above the clamor of his pulse?
And after falling from the stones,
the sacrifice stumbling and clouded with rage,
did he kneel before the burning ram?

Breathless, I bolt at the howling of a dog,
my arms straining at cord made tighter by waking.
The wings unfurled in a dream close and disappear
into shadows scratching on the wall,
branches gathered at the windowpane.
I stumble out of bed to pull the shade,
curse the howling of a dog,
and wonder if I know my Father’s mind at all?

~William Hammett

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