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In Eden, A Poem

December 13, 2014

 

Here’s the last poem I actually finished and submitted anywhere. It won top three in the Robert Frost Poetry Contest in 2011. I love it because speaks to my sensibilities as an environmentalist and a feminist (whatever those words mean) and because I love playing with fairy tales and mythology.

In Eden

In Eden
when the insects were screaming
in the fields in high summer
When the honey
was aching to be taken
The skies filled with white wings
the fruit fell in pink piles
on the orchard floor

Remember how it was
before the trees were cut
before the rivers pitched their guts?
How the giant beasts beat their feet
slowly through our sleep
my lover kept me naked
the bounty of our bodies
not yet spent to ashes

I didn’t just bite the apple
I licked its juices from my fingers
I was a dancing Cretan girl
and I reached for the universe
I was tempting and tempted
and not afraid of snakes
I saw we were spirit
bodies became pillars of white
the sea gave off the same light
as did trees, birds. Everything singing.

Despite what you’ve heard
I had a mother; she sang to me in the
slosh of the sea, in birdsong
Even as the machines rumbled,
when the garden revealed a stage
with a trap door
She sang until there was nothing
left of her but bone

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