'Hawaii Cemetary,'
Katia Fuentes
Jeanne Obbard

Isaac

I was a child star,
           says Isaac.
As a man I too
was the father of a people,
but you all only loved me
for the drama of that first act:

an accident of birth,
a test of faith:
Behold the fire and the wood:
but where is the lamb
for a burnt offering?


I knew there would be a death there;
I did not imagine I would feel it,
loved as I was.

The thing that is not recorded
is the electric pinch of fear 
when the danger was already past,
the rushing ebb of blood
that blacked the sun,
the thoughts that had already
curled themselves away like mice
on my weak-kneed stumble
back down the mountainís side.

The thing that is not told
is the silence of my mother to my father,

which he answered, with rapture,
God is great!
For He did provide the lamb!


I see its white face in my nights sometimes,
its blank gaze at the morning sky,
and wonder if the innocence of the sacrificed
is preferable to the knowing of the saved.

Now I know that thou fearest God,
the Lord said. And I do,
at least one who is terrible enough 
to test our inhumanity, and find it strong.