A sheep and a goat is Jacob and Esau. A sheep
and a goat and angel with trumpet is the end of things.
Put the goat on the left, sheep on the right.
A pair of animals means flood or garden—depends
if you want to destroy it all or save it. Or name it.
The robed man who stands is father, is lord,
is Abraham, is Isaac, is Jacob, is Moses, is prophet,
is wise man, is priest, is depends-on-the-story, what’s needed.
The kneeling man is son, is leper, is servant,
is Esau, is Saul, is penitent, is lost—lost son,
lost coin, lost lamb—or for the parable of talents.
Don’t lose the burning bush, the box of coins,
the tablets of stone, the coat of many colors.
Pigs mean: prodigal son or a legion of demons.
A pair of men can be a healing, one standing,
one kneeling. With the right figures, anything’s a miracle.
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.