Fathom Mag

Where is the lamb?

A poem

Published on:
September 23, 2019
Read time:
1 min.
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The sermon makes me look
to my small neighbor, Roger,
who is reading a graphic novel
version of the Bible called
The Action Bible, or God:
The Graphic Novel,
or something
like Jesus: The Original Superhero,
but it’s actually far more
engaging than the sermon
and so here we are.

An impressively bearded Abraham
looms over a chiseled and youthful
Isaac that makes you wonder, like,
how’d Abraham even get him down?
God breaks down from clouds in royal
gold rays on a ram caught in the thicket.

Roger’s five or six, but reads voraciously,
and I’m just noticing that he
hasn’t turned the page in quite a while
and I’m itching for something
else, for fear of having to return
my focus, and I’m all but leaning
over and flipping his page myself
when I see what he’s been seeing:
Isaac bound and sobbing upwards,
his face distorted by some fearful
unknown in his father’s resolve.
And I look at Roger swivel between
his own father and Abraham
and Isaac, putting together
for the first time something he
won’t ever be able to pull apart. 

I lean over to touch his shoulder
and try to interest him in the next
chapter that turns out unhelpfully
to be titled: The Death of Sarah. 

It’s not too late for me to reprimand
him (and myself) and return our
attention to the sermon. There’s
nothing there to make us squirm
or consider a love that would take
the life of an innocent child. 

Peter Spaulding
Peter Spaulding is a PhD student at Marquette University, living in Milwaukee with his wife, Erin. He writes poems and has dabbled in longer works, blogging, and podcasting. His favorite word is schism, he loves the Milwaukee County Transit System and John Milton, and has been really into Erik Satie lately.

Cover photo by Miika Laaksonen.

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