See the father with two turtledoves.

Fluttering in his heart are fear and joy,

and by his side, two unexpected loves,

the sudden mother and her infant boy.


Going up the mountain, he stops to rest

Remembering Isaac and Abraham—

the cruel command and the terrible test,

the knife, the boy’s throat and the thorn crowned lamb.


n the distance he sees the temple’s towers,

smells the smoke and hears the animals’ cry,

and wonders how and why the ancient powers

Demanded blood to reconcile earth and sky.


We like to see here a homely family sight,

but this feels barbaric, not sweet and nice.

It is the memory of some obscene rite—

of blood and fire and human sacrifice.


Then on this hill another father looks on

As another son is lifted up, and another dove descends.

For here a more tremendous love is shown

on which all history and the world depends.