Eden and Other Places

by Gerry Callaghan
The Write Idea
Third Place, January 2015
Judged by Ned Balbo

We weren’t tempted to the fruit.
It seemed to us no more
than standard fare.
And the serpent was our jester,
not a grifter, not a shill,
at worst a babbling pet.
We’ve travelled since.
In Gilead we slathered
balsam oil on failing limbs.
We’ve known the hospitality
of Sodom, and of Bethlehem.
We don’t go back to Eden.
No one does.
It’s like the moon.

A dramatic monologue that is all the more convincing for its concision. If we forgot that Adam and Eve were driven from home, this poem reminds us that the pain of watching the past become ever more remote is part of the human condition. --Ned Balbo