Amusing the Angels
Winner, 2022 Blue Light Book Award
A Breezy Time of Day
after the painting, Adam and Eve Expelled from Paradise, by Marc Chagall, 1961
The angel seems bemused
as she expels Adam and Eve from the garden.
After all, they don’t seem displeased:
They see each other for the first time
and will soon abandon their embarrassment
for joy and, in time, for pain.
Their curiosity is ravenous.
The musky scent of the earth
will invigorate them
and arouse their hunger.
They will have children
and learn how to nourish them.
Their knowledge will be a light,
often disclosing the inadequacy
of the words they use
to express their wonder,
and their resolve.
They will find that time is the enemy
and can cancel out even
their greatest accomplishments.
They will observe animals that send signals,
often to other species,
to alert them about nearby predators.
They will watch ravens mourn
when members of their conspiracies
die or get killed.
They will grieve for their son
after he’s killed at the hands of his brother.
They will bury him and weep.
They will have another child.
They will never turn back.