Eden in Winter

by Russel Smith
The Write Idea
First Place, March 2010
Judged by Dorianne Laux and Joseph Millar


In a downtown park I find
a marble Eve with broken hands and feet
lying awake by a sleeping man,
where he had carried her.

Unconscious, still he keeps her
among the frost-bit weeds,
a crippled captive
to oversee his wretchedness.

New life sings in the branches,
rattles the clinging leaves,
chases the hard snow crunching
sweet as halvah, beneath my feet.

Each lengthening day the sun
climbs higher over us.
I circle here; I listen
to her muted voice.

She tells me we are naked,
lacking even skins of animals,
and having eaten of the tree of life,
we could live forever.


We are enamored of the city scene drawn here, the homeless man and his marble Eve, the "frost-bit weeds". The idea that these difficult surroundings can be somehow Edenesque. A mysterious poem that harkens back to the garden where all is naked and broken. --Dorianne Laux & Joseph Millar

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