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Two Voices from the Garden

Eve and Adam remember the day they ate the forbidden fruit

Was it hunger for the fruit that made me reach

and pluck from the forbidden tree that Autumn day,

that made me turn and smell its fragrance,

see it shining in that slant of light,

walk, then run through weeds above my knees,

shove aside the bending goldenrods

with my bare arms,

ignore the humming bees,

my eyes staring straight ahead

at what I wanted dangling on the lowest branch?

Why did I walk past other trees just as ripe

on paths where I had walked before,

where vines were filled with purple grapes

and berries I had gathered many times with my dear friend?

So why on that late afternoon

standing there alone, knowing I should turn away

as I had so many times before,

why now, listen to a voice whispering,

not sure where it was coming from

or if it was my voice, I didn’t know,

I only knew my heart was beating faster,

my lungs filling up and felt a tremble

that made me run where I had never gone before

and there I was, my fingers grasping

what I knew I shouldn’t touch

and when I closed my eyes and took a bite,

juice running down my chin,

how could I know the hunger I had followed

and the taste my tongue now knew

would ache in me and in my children?

How could I know that summers

would never be the same,

that fruit would never be as sweet again,

that sorrow and bitterness would come

like dark clouds and take away the sun?

Nothing could have stopped my wanting

what was growing where there was no path,

and even now, when I lay awake at night,

and hear him breathing next to me,

I look into the darkness,

remembering the hunger.


When I saw her walking towards me with that smile,

she took another bite then offered me what she had eaten,

her long hair golden in the setting sun,

her eyes looking into mine,

our fingers touching when I took

what she was holding out to me,

and when I closed my eyes,

not sure if I should go where she was taking me,

my toes clutching at the earth,

my knees weakening, I could not speak,

and when I opened up my eyes

knowing we would never be the same

and looked in back of her at the tree

standing in the distance,

the tall grass bending in the breeze,

the wind getting stronger,

the sky getting darker,

I took a bite and then another and another

and looked into her eyes,

our lips wet with the sweetness we were eating

and swallowed what I knew was coming

but didn’t care as long as we could share

these paths we made and the garden

we were growing.

Who knew that day would be the end of innocence,

that we would work and know despair,

that our children would fight,

that we would hold each other

warm and weary in the night,

our bones no longer strong,

our hair no longer light?

And even now, when I wake at dawn

and watch her sleeping,

the sun just above the trees,

I still can see her holding out her hand,

and how we laughed as we ate,

standing in our nakedness,

the taste a dim memory,

the tree no longer standing.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

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