After Eden

Poetry by | February 10, 2008

They both bear the burden of the fruit.
Each day they toil in this marketplace
steaming in the morning heat, here
where there are too many ways to know
good and evil, life and death.

His strong back strains under the heavy basket,
her arms keep steady as she eases the weight.
It does not matter now whose wrong it was,
why each drop of sweetness comes from pain.
Grace still fills the smallest gestures of being.

At twilight, she boils the rice as carefully
as she draws her child close—tender, fierce—
the way her hands were shaped, the way
her breath warms his skin at night as she sleeps,
the only way her heart knows, has always known.

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