12 February 2012


That boy, “Abraham’s son,”
I don’t think was ever rightly called.
                  There is that flame,
that kindling, in the story of
the son-that-should-have-died.

Fate played no part. God himself
came down. There is no surer word.
The covenant could stand
and Isaac die and Abraham knew it.

He spent three days knowing it,
each step a mustard seed
to fell the mountain in his heart.

The knife. Did he shudder as he lifted it,
                  the sinews, muscles tense
Did he calm himself with words as shallow as his breath
                  I’ve done this before
                  a goat, a dove, an ox,


An old sinner,
longing to obey.

And Isaac died to Abraham. In between the knife’s up and stop,
Isaac became a son of God. 

No comments: