Isaac’s boyhood

Isaac’s boyhood
(Gen., 22.1-19)

Although we’re told an angel stayed
that blow and pointed to a ram
entangled by its horns in twigs
and branches of a nearby bush,
although the angel said that God
was testing Abraham and found
him faithful, the tale tells not one jot
how, after bearing up the wood,
how, told the lamb would be supplied
by God, the shock shook Isaac’s frame
when his father grasped and bound him –
and now betrayal — of disbelief
as he was lifted up and laid
down on the altar-fuel that jabbed.
Nor does the record tell the young
lad’s terror as his father raised
the newly whetted knife of bronze;
nor does it tell the narrow glint
of sun along the edge, burnt deep,
in Isaac’s memory.