‘Agnus Dei’


For Brian and Katy,
After the death and birth of your daughter Agnes,
Born 8.22.22, Died 8.23.22.


But little Lamb, who takes away
The terrors of earth’s death,
The lion in You took today
Another baby’s breath.

Because God gave a trinity
Of chromosomes, they said,
With broken heart, she’ll stillborn be,
At best in months she’s dead.

I felt her fight for garments blessed—
As white as wool—the life,
Time’s fullness pressed, a terrible test,
I gripped, my God, my knife.

When Abraham, at four a.m.
His blade bared bright on high,
Tied down his son without a lamb
His faith shut Isaac’s eye.

Her eyes came closed in such assent,
She crossed the altar of my bed
In peace, alive, swift sacraments,
Deceased, my God, my God, my dread.

The face that first she’ll see:
Will be, will be Agnus Dei.