For the unfulfilled innate vow
to be ourselves
a vow deftly stolen from some
as Abraham, obedient, nearly took
the life of Isaac, a still broken
vow unto himself,
as Esau’s birthright was by Jacob
a parent’s inclination determined one
blind and blazing event after another.
And history’s mothers, wily or with silent
tears interceding, and fathers, awesome
and mild, too present or unseeing, absent
introduce us to our future.
Until today bowed, humble
white tents about our heads
for the words
of our lives
we did not utter
that only our keepsake hearts
were free to speak.