Commentary Magazine


Incident in Genesis

All the way there forebode him nothing
    but fact:
“Here am I, Father, son! Here, biding land,”
Vague in the first light of morning milkers.

Nor could the fagotted ass better understand
The impending hack of bones or blackened
    fat
That now walked upright and tender for
    a difference.

The child was Abraham’s own, but what
    was that
Among beasts, four legged or two
    with shaggy hands
To labor distinctions among the common
    flock?
It was nothing. So they came to the
    acceptable spot
And over innocence like a faith, he raised
A beastly arm to bring down temporal
    heaven.

And the chosen voice was strange with
    puzzling praise.
Behind, the ram struggled within this truth
Till Abraham stood upon an earth of
    blessing,

And spread the beaten thicket of his mouth
With struggling tongue, his voice discovered
    saying,
“Here am I, human, at my sacrifice.”

_____________

 

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