Original Sin

Original Sin
Originally a tribute to Rachel Carson on the 50th anniversary of her death

I was given, at my first birthday party,
a gift sublime, a lovely, lush garden
I played among its fonts and flowers,
traded baseball cards with Atlas and Athena,
rolled in high grass with iridescent dragons
Then one fine day through leaflets high,
I spied a fat juicy fig, haloed by Summer sun
The tree was poison, I knew, its sweet fruit
most likely bad as well, but in my arrogance
I climbed the trunk, got tangled in its branches
I lost control, lost something never truly held,
and fell, through viney snarls and vicious thorns
Fell farther than I ever rose, to putrid death,
moldered slime beneath the canopy
of verdant paradise on gentle hillside above
I crawled about in mud and earthen warrens,
slowly, year by year, learned to walk again
But arrogant I remained—had not my lesson learned,
and so I doubled-down,made mockery
of this chance for redemption
All the sweet virgins did I rape,
and teach our children sin,
in crystalline waters I did shat,
mulched fields, amber and green,
with cigarette butts and baggies
blowing listless on Autumn winds
When Winter finally came, as winters must,
to kill off weakened souls, and make
the garden ready for new guardians,
I did not learn, I did not take the blame…
It’s Him, I cried, I have not power to do this!
But then my youngest daughter sobbed
She watched, sadly, out clouded windows
and, looking up at my limpid, sullen eyes
crawled into my arms one last, lonely time
to face what I could not—Behold, the Silent Spring
~AJ Mayfield 2014

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