Story goes they rang bells of pure gold
and had pomegranates embroidered on their cuffs.
I cannot believe the Old Testament would lie about something like that!
But of course they did tell a tall one about the Fall,
never mentioning the Underworld Ruler’s wheels,
or the pomegranate seeds or the grieving mother
AND maligning that poor snake—this never gets lamented enough—
that most snakes just go harmlessly about,
like the banded-beach-snake, eryx colubrinis,
not to be confused with its snappy, venomous cousin
the stiletto snake, its fang a 12 penny nail,
the small finishing kind that gets all the publicity,
from as far back as the cycles of Biblical anti-agrarianism,
where in spite of everything the grackle-colored sunbird
still graces the thorn tree,
where the barley sifteth onto the floor.
catch a fire prompts for February 2010: testament, fall, beach, nail, cycle
•••Judy Swann has been published in Lilliput, Literary Bohemian, Apparatus, Thema, and Tilt Poetry Magazine. Her poem “We Burned Incense” won first place in the InterBoard Poetry Competition in September, 2009. She lives in Ithaca, NY; but her childhood next door neighbor runs a dive shop in Grand Turk, and she is saving to go there.