Sacred (or sacrilegious)

Abraham Revisited

in the sprawling shade of tamarisk,
at the fount of shifting sands and stars,
his promise was fulfilled:
A desert rose
spiraled up from the badlands, and I
could only gaze in wonder, laughing –
laughing along
with Sarah and my desert rose.

The sands slipped by,
and after a time God said, “Son,
bring your desert rose to me.”
And I brought him.
He said, “Father, where is the lamb?”
And I, who could not bear to
prune his laughter, eased his mind.

But at the peak we found only our
selves; and the boy saw he
was the lamb, and I saw that
I could not but
stay my hand – and so a
promise was cut
off. God said to
slay my desert rose,
but I could not.


For my poetry class, inspired by that guy who read his translation of the Abraham story at the Seamus Heaney reading. I kept expecting his poem to somehow tell a new and different story, such as one in which Abraham wouldn't sacrifice Isaac, but it never did, and I was disappointed.

This is basically how I would've felt if I'd been in Abraham's shoes.


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