Saturday Poem / Original Sin

... Cain gorged on apple — / epidemics of killing, / fierce and everywhere — ...

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Why was this apple —

knowledge of good and evil —

 

forbidden? Bites of that fruit,

plenty left to go around,

 

everyone tasting

what titillates the tongue.

 

Cain gorged on apple —

epidemics of killing,

 

fierce and everywhere —

always some one else’s fault —

 

make headlines, children

ripped apart by certitude

 

that we’re right/​you’re not

and ruptured bodies aren’t

 

as real as whatever claim

slaughter satisfies —

 

our land, our right — tribes

of partisans and profiteers.

 

Someone suggests reparations

for slavery: hackles rise.

 

So many hatreds. How do they end?

Each insult peels back

 

peels back peels back

another.

Liane Ellison Norman

Liane Ellison Norman has written a number of books in various genres, most recently "Breathing the West: Great Basin Poems" (Bottom Dog Press, 2012). She is a member of the Madwomen in the Attic Writing Workshops at Carlow University. She lives in Squirrel Hill.


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