He looks as midnight glory needles punch
the bowl of sky. The burning heirs declare
that leaving Ur was calling, not a hunch,
that twenty years of pastures sheep-stripped bare
is not a waste. But in the heat-sprung air
all certainty evaporates. His hand
extends to grasp a surety of sand.
The spitted lamb bends near the charcoal’s face
then turns its head away, all afternoon.
In just that way he’d watched the sun re-trace
its course, the solemn arcing stars. The moon
had ninety-one times swelled and shrunk. But soon.
The sand-hot wind gnaws at the woven door,
just as it has all seven years before.
He knows that he will see him: he’s been told;
the midnight herald certain of the tales.
But that was then. The circling years have scrolled
his back and on the East wind days he rails;
he’ll die in disappointment, yes God fails.
Each eight-day infant brings a new defeat.
Yet every morning sees him at his seat.
The breeze new-wakened by the rising sun
toys at the sweat that damps his head like rain.
The nets are free of fish; the night is done.
He shifts the oar and lets his body strain
against the weary world, and then again.
The city lad is snoring in the bow:
the shore is near; they’ll have to wake him now.
Verses are, in order: Abraham, Jacob, Simeon, Peter.
And if your interested, the poem is in rhyme royal (ABABBCC), and iambic pentameter.