There Will Be No Isaac

For this Sarah.
Because some Sarahs
get neither an Ishmael
for God to have cast away
nor an Isaac for her to hug tight.

Some Sarahs get the dream
of musical mobiles
spinning in the night,
the cruelty of ABC books
never to be read. Images
of toy-strewn floors to remain
sugarplum-tucked only in her head.
A will-not-come, a cannot-be
daughter or son to love,
which haunts her. Which haunts her.

Then God said unto Abraham,
“Why did Sarah laugh and say,
‘Will I really have a child
now that I am old?’”

And Sarah said to them both,
“Because some Sarahs don’t.”

Sarah Mackey Kirby grew up in Kentucky. She is the author of the poetry collection, The Taste of Your Music (Impspired, 2021). Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in Ploughshares, Muddy River Poetry Review, Chiron Review, Impspired Magazine, Connecticut River Review, and elsewhere. She holds an MA in teaching and a BA in political science from the University of Louisville, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She and her husband live in Louisville. Her website:

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