Falling Through Eden
Adam felt sun and sucked at pulpy fruit,
spitting the seeds between his dusty toes.
He never searched the fig tree's roiled root
nor felt a thorn upon the nose-brushed rose.
He tapped the tiger's fawning teeth, and knew
no growling worry at the sun's soft fall
(with warming Eve to hold against the dew
and Eden's boredom): nor cared nor thought at all.
But what load to saddle on a simple man,
to be the first! He could not bear it long
and did the dooming error. Then he ran,
and found outside he gloried in his wrong.
He burnished evil, savored bright new fears,
and dreamed of Eden through a thousand years.
Alan C. Elms
Copyright (c) 1961 by the New York Times Company.
Reprinted by permission.