And HE said: Take now your son, your only one, whom you love,
Isaac, and go forth to the land of Moriah . . . Genesis 22:1.
I heard the old man raving in his sleep
There would be no
talking him out of it.
I crept out, picked
a ram from the flock and drove it
ahead of me, doubled over
my stick. I knew
When I saw
the old man stumble up at last,
I twisted my fingers in the wool
to keep our mouths shut. I endured
the building of the fire and altar the way
I’d endured labor at ninety. And the sweet voice
asking, But where is the sheep?
I couldn’t watch
the binding. When sun
sparked off flint, I sprang
from behind and clobbered him.
I hoped he was dead.
When he stirred,
I met Isaac’s eyes, already stunned
dumb, and signaled,
into the bush, cut the ram free,
bleating. Abe staggered
up, fell on it, weeping.
Oh, he thanked me
then, without seeing me, called me Angel
babbling to his Voice.
No story tells
how he untied the dear limbs
and what passed between the two of them
on the jarring trek back down the mountain.
Photo by Lauren Tucker