I Was a Mother

 
Set two, two plates instead of three: you will
not be returning. In your small shoes,
your small coat with the smaller buttons,
you have never looked so full of faith,
mouthing the words Moriah, mother. Mother. I will
not call you child but sacrifice, sacrament,
animal. When you hug me, my heart
conks out: stunning in non-ritual slaughter,
blood slick like a botched birth.
 
This is my own
faith at its finest: bestial benediction,
my knees rubbed red, filthy from so much kneeling.
And my hair: a scorching halo. Abraham tells me
this test is God’s gift. I etch every answer
‘til the paper splits like a lip:
a.) I have never been more certain
b.) I have never been more certain
c.) I have never been more certain
 
 
 
 

Hannah Bonner's poetry has appeared in So to Speak, The Asheville Poetry Review, The North Carolina Literary Review, among others. Her essays have been published in VIDA: Women in the Literary Arts, Bustle, Weird Sister, and The Little Patuxent Review.