Isaac, my siblings, and some other random kids are running in a field.
We’re supposed to be playing tag, these kids and I,
but my siblings know I don’t run and don’t expect me to.
We are in t-shirts and shorts.
Isaac is wearing a button-down.
He’s always more formal.
His mom is always here, unlike ours,
but she’s not outside right now. This kid
is letting loose. I can’t blame him.
She seems to like everything perfect.
He looks to her for everything, like she knows
the right answer to, “What are you thinking, Isaac?”
It drives me nuts.
She has a demure, yet commanding strength
and complete control over him.
We just got out of a meeting.
They’re having well-deserved fun,
so I join in, even running.
I cannot run well. I am at least seven
years older than each of these kids
and I’m still not winning tag.
He taunts me.
“You can’t do it, you’re a girl,” then,
“girls can’t do anything.”
Kid, you’re eight. I’m just fat.
I take the bait. “Okay, so do you think
your dad is better than your mom?”
(and I think I have caught him
because I’ve seen how dependent he is
on the strong, stony woman in there.)
He stares at me like I’m an idiot.
“Of course he is.”
He runs away grinning.
Only later do I think of the story of Abraham and Isaac
and wonder if Sarah knew
what her husband was ready to do to her son.