Adam and Eve

    June 2001            
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Opinion & Society



Jim Vasquez

Midst rustling leaves of autumn hues,
Reflecting as they fell,
The sun's bright rays that pierced the woods,
Where bird and flower dwell,
I was escorted to his side,
I was bone of his bone,
And from a rib was formed that he,
No more would be alone.
And gurgling streams ran gently by,
And grasses whispered low,
As cool and pleasant breezes did,
Their fragrant scent bestow.
And waking from his sleep he held,
My unrobed body near,
As if complete he sensed himself,
And longed that I appear.
Now Adam was this man's good name,
First of his kind was he,
And Eve, a living mate for him,
The name he gave to me.
The days we spent were filled and more,
With joys on every side,
We thought their state would never change,
But endless would abide.
For in our midst Another walked,
He called us day by day,
And in communion readily,
We walked in all His way.
That fellowship so satisfied,
All that within me dwelt,
And reached the limits of my soul,
Which nothing lacking felt.
But in that place another walked,
Nay, let me say, he crawled,
And by his suave, seductive charms,
Deluded and enthralled.
But little did I know of this,
Nor could I then have guessed,
I thought him but a creature like,
Myself and all the rest.
And then one day he spoke to me,
Attentive, I gave ear,
So little thinking at the time,
All that there was to fear.
And first he questioned whether I,
Had not misunderstood,
What God had said about the tree,
Of evil and of good.
And then suggested there indeed,
Was something that I lacked,
For eating of the tree I would,
Be just like God, in fact.
Still doubtful, I did cast an eye,
Upon that crimson fruit,
And how its loveliness appealed,
I could not then dispute.
With hand outreached I grasped it and,
Straight to my mouth in haste,
I bore the succulent and knew,
Its piquant, juicy taste.
And turning to dear Adam I,
With hand held out once more,
Did offer him the morsel, too,
Nor needed to implore.
He took and then a silence reigned,
Unlike all that I'd known,
And gone were all the rustling sounds,
And songs of birds o'erflown.
The brook no longer babbled as,
It made its rambling way,
And trees seemed strangely shorn of leaves,
Each branch in disarray.
The sky, till then a sparkling blue,
Was now foreboding red,
Though sunset still awaited us,
A while yet ahead.
And zephyrs carried not their scent,
We were accustomed to,
And earth its freshness now had lost,
From early morning dew.
And still another change there was,
When Adam did reveal,
A swatch of leaves advising me,
My body to conceal.
But yet the greatest change of all,
So unexpectedly,
Was when we heard the voice of God,
And from Him then did flee.
We'd heard Him oft, His voice had been,
A welcome, joyous thing,
But now it made our hearts to fear,
And our base conscience, sting.
We found ourselves a hiding place,
Within a darkened glen.
But God once more called out to us,
And Adam answered then.
And when God asked his whereabouts,
He answered that he feared,
For lacking proper coverings,
He naked then appeared.
But little did these words deceive,
Nor for a moment fool,
For God of Adam questioned then,
About His foremost rule.
"And have you eaten of the tree,
Of which I gave command,
Its fruit shall not pass through your lips,
Nor feel your outstretched hand?"
Poor Adam, now, his fear increased,
Uncertain what to say,
With finger pointing straight at me,
He all but told God, "Nay!"
"The woman," then he said to God,
Quite shaking in his fright,
"Was she who first did pick the fruit,
And then I took a bite."
"Please note," he might as well have said,
"The woman by my side,
Is she whom you yourself did bring,
To live here and abide."
And turning then to me God asked,
That I an answer give,
And with no other folk around,
I lacked alternative.
In truth, I had but this to say,
"That slimy serpent there,
Spoke slyly of the things I lacked,
And me he did ensnare."
A curse God then invoked on him,
And promised enmity,
For mortal consequences now,
Our offspring were to see.
And mine would know his heel bruised,
And this unworthily,
But his a skull crushed underfoot,
Would suffer fatally.
And with these words a hope remained,
Though faint within our breast,
For in that sylvan circumstance,
We failed to meet the test.
And then addressing me, God said,
"Your pain will now increase,
In bringing forth each child henceforth,
And this without surcease.
"And for your husband," He then said,
"Shall your desire be,
Throughout your days you'll heed his voice,
And follow his decree."
For Adam, too, God had these words,
"For you the ground is cursed,
And seeds of thistles and of thorns,
Are everywhere dispersed.
"You listened to your wife and took,
Its fruit from off the tree,
Now from your sweat and painful toil,
Your days will not be free.
"Your years will not be endless but,
A briefer, sad sojourn,
From dust you were created and,
To dust you will return."
We left our home that saddened day,
In truth, were driven out,
As cherubim stood guard with swords,
That flamed and flashed about.
The memories I hold so dear,
Of Adam and our days,
Together walking hand in hand,
'Neath heaven's brilliant rays,
Bring sadness now as I reflect,
On all that we have lost,
For that one simple trespass and,
All that it finally cost.
But here's the thought I most review:
When Satan spoke that day,
My Adam was close by my side,
And nothing did he say.


from the June 2001 Edition of the Jewish Magazine

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