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Expulsion from the Garden

April 27, 2010

Expulsion from the Garden

“Whatever the name of the catastrophe,
it was never the opposite of love.”

–Mary Oliver

We were like any Adam and Eve, new in the world
once, and always tripping through the woods
naming the things whose names we did not know.
What kind of tree was that?  What kind
of pine?  Is that as high as it will grow?

And if we had the questions and the wide
open eyes of any five-year-old child,
we made our own answers looking in
whatever direction we chose along a path
that only went to places we’d not been

in a garden painted every shade of green
from gray to black, where every stone and mountain
was made for decoration; every creek and waterfall
placed so for effect, and not to bar the way.
We made them ours and I think we named them all,

coming at last to a place we’d seen before,
again, like an old dream, faintly familiar
and with a name now lost.  We disagreed
what it had been–should be–called, and where
to go from here.  And with what speed.

The end of the world is the place where it repeats
itself—call it a circle slightly out
of round, with no true center, paradise
with no way out.  Here you are again.
Make of it what you will.  Improvise.

© David Hirzel 1986

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