poem index

Poem-A-Day

Poem-a-Day is the original and only daily digital poetry series featuring over 200 new, previously unpublished poems by today's talented poets each year. On weekdays, poems are accompanied by exclusive commentary by the poets. The series highlights classic poems on weekends. Launched in 2006, Poem-a-Day is now distributed via email, web, and social media to 350,000+ readers free of charge and is available for syndication. For more information, contact poem-a-day@poets.org.

Abraham and Isaac

Recorded for Poem-a-Day, February 23, 2017.
About this Poem 

“In the struggle to stay connected to his father, a son might wonder what kind of sacrifice is needed to jettison the pain (of rejection, of disapproval, of dislocation) in order to say, with honesty and generosity, ‘Here I am, Dad.’ When we collide with our parents’ limitations and still manage to enjoy connection, we feel vast.”
—Thomas Dooley

Abraham and Isaac

You tried to take my
red metals with your wolf jaw

tongs to forge a body never to be flame-licked again
but I reached out and held you

by the throat, pressed
my ear to your chest that meadow

startled with magpies.
You are not the first man

who tried to make my body a smoke.
But here I am

to silver the air and surround you
like a sky vast enough

to take your embers into itself;
I’ve been made to carry your fires.

Copyright © 2017 by Thomas Dooley. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 23, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2017 by Thomas Dooley. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 23, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

previous poems

date title authorsort descending
October 14, 2010 Custom Rae Armantrout
August 09, 2016 Hoard Rae Armantrout
September 16, 2014 Dämmerung Simon Armitage
March 27, 2011 The Buried Life Matthew Arnold
February 21, 2012 Poem Cynthia Arrieu-King
October 16, 2015 Ode to an Encyclopedia James Arthur
July 17, 2013 Goodnight Moon James Arthur
October 24, 2014 Bodhisattva Sarah Arvio
April 26, 2010 The Widows of Gravesend L. S. Asekoff
July 18, 2016 WWE Fatimah Asghar

Pages