by Amy Izen
O Ishmael . . . Listen. It is Isaac speaking.
Too long have we crossed swords over Sinai,
Too long has there been desert between us, Where nothing grows.
Only Death. Let there be peace.
One night, At the foot of Sabbath, I waited for you.
You said you would come to Jerusalem, And meet me face to face.
I watched you, Ishmael, As you rode above the desert sand,
On a strange, colossal camel, With smoking hooves,
Across a cloudless sky. You alighted. And I ran to meet you,
And held out both my hands.
I have waited for this moment Countless generations.
We wept and embraced.
O Ishmael, How long shall we wage war with one another?
How long must there be rancor and mistrust?
How much more blood must still be spilled. Before the final epic?
How many shall we shovel in the sand?
O Ishmael, Let us be reconciled at last,In the field of the dead,
By the gravestones of our beloved sons, As we were once long ago
By the field of Ephron, In the cave of Machpelah,
When we buried Our father, Abraham.
O Ishmael, My Brother