Amusing the Angels

Winner, 2022 Blue Light Book Award

​​STEWART FLORSHEIM

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,

their anguish,

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.