Dear Isaac. a lectionary poem

How was it to be round up
And bound up
By your father
As an offering
Upon an altar of wood?

Did you wrestle?
Did you scream?
Did you laugh in disbelief
Like your mother did
When she thought of having you?

Did you live like
You were a kind of joke?
Like nothing really mattered?
Did your father, Abraham
Tremble, shake, and cry
As he lifted the sword
Above your head?

What if he’d refused the whole thing?
What if he ignored the angel
and the heavenly voice?
What if losing Ishmael was enough?
What if you’d ran away?

And what’s with YHWH taking so long
To call from heaven
Providing a ram
When your blood was moments away
From staining the earth?

Finally, how was the walk back?
Did you laugh together then?
Perhaps you did.
Perhaps it was
That kind of nervous laughter
Of relief and heavy breaths
Knowing that in a moment
This God who gives
Can take away
But prefers mercy
over sacrifice
any day.

“Dear Isaac”
by David Tensen
June 2020

Genesis 22:1-14
Lectionary Proper 8. Year A.
Image: Rambrandt – The Sacrifice of Isaac – 1635 – Oil – The Hermitage at St. Petersburg

#poetry #poem #OT #promise #cast #race #YHWH #Isaac #laugh #sacrifice #lectionary

1 Comment

  1. Linda Smith June 30, 2020 at 5:21 am

    David, I’m a long, long time friend of Paul Young who has introduced me to your poetry which I am feeling passionately connected to. I have been unable to find your books. Any assistance will be much appreciated. Linda Smith

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