Printed from WriteWords -


by  James Graham

Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2011
Word Count: 259


‘It was the snake’, Eve said. ‘It met
my eyes, I could not look away. It seemed
to talk. It seemed to know. It made me feel
that I could disobey, that disobedience
would bring awakening. But there is only
punishment.’ And Abel said, ‘Oh Mother,

Mother, do not weep or be afraid.
This must have been a dream. There are leaves
and tubers in this valley that make dreams.
Have you eaten some? It was your own
snake-voice that told you of this God, this
cruel master. We must not leave this land.’

But Adam said, ‘We must. We must make
our home where the soil is thin and dry.
We know too much, we know too little.
The rabbit and the hare, they don’t know
what they are. I am unlike them only
because I know I don’t know what I am.
I am afraid. We must obey. If we resist
our God, he will afflict us terribly.’

‘Oh Father, Father’, said Cain the farmer.
‘There is a garden within your skull
where axes, plans and gods take root.
This god is a rank weed, a running weed
that stifles fruit and flower. Uproot him,
burn him, clear the ground and mulch it
with your best ambitions. Sow the seed

of another god, a god who cherishes
this land and trusts us with its husbandry;
one who will not damn you, Mother,
to bear a child in sorrow; and Father,
one who will not damn you to die young
from wretched labour. Father, dare to stay.’