Robert Manaster (bio)

Stiff and bent out from being tied by stretched
        Twine, the ram’s leg

    Had to be cut off.  Heat
      Swooshed too close as a brief gust vented through.

    Upon this mountain cove, he remembered less and less.

                He had raised
                Then shunted the knife aside—

    Off, Off! As if no blood should set into clotted silver.

He knew more than he desired.  He could have
Kicked the ram’s skewed stillness to breath.

How had he done

The angel called out for him to spare
His favored son, whom God had charged
  To take there.

He had to let go.

            His wife could not
         End her grief:

                    She’d given up
     Her boy to a worshipping not her own,
     To be at peace
With her husband.    Alone,

Each of them a son had left for good.

Off! Off! She heard fire swallow itself like memory.

Robert Manaster

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