Jacob’s Angel – a poem by James Green

Jacob’s Angel

And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. 
And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.

Genesis 32:26 (KJV)

The herder Jacob, gripped by guilt and fear,
has wrestled with a stranger all the night
when in the borderlands of dawn he hears
his foe entreat to end the fight.

I will not let you go, the herder cries,			
unless you bless me! Then awakening
from sweat-soaked sleep he rubs his aching thigh
and hears an echo from the fading dream:

From now you shall be known as Israel! 
And as he limps into the breaking day,
while meditating on this nameless angel’s
benediction, Jacob asks if he

had just contended with his God or if
the mystery angel might have been himself.

James Green is a retired university professor and administrator.  He has published five chapbooks of poetry and individual poems have appeared in literary journals in Ireland, the UK, and the USA. His collection, Stations of the Cross, was nominated for the MLA’s Conference on Christianity and Literature Book of the Year. His website can be found at http://www.jamesgreenpoetry.net.

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