Burden, old story.
For starters, each eve is well equipped
with her own apple. The God. Well wrapped
in a cloak of fruit the likes of gold can rip
up ground beneath you, as needed. Look here
beauty. As far as we can tell, it’s never enough.
Ask Eris. Come with gifts like—who you know,
how you get down, access you can offer to more
of them like you. Like ‘Damn you got a sister?’ or
‘Can you bring a couple friends.’ That’s not the whole
of it. What’s pretty is seldom true. Ask Susanna as
Daniel did to get the bottom of it. Trust women.
But who questioned any other than Adam about
the fruit they knew. Or if knowing couldn’t simply
be. an eden. One where someone just admits she took
an apple and in the desert they are rare. For that may
you all suffer. And that is true. And particularly pretty.
Copyright © 2021 by francine j. harris. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 6, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.
“I’m just here so I won’t get fined.”
“This is a very little poem that deals with a lot of big mythologies. It happened after a day or two of some encounters with some old myths I hadn’t much paid attention to before, involving Eris the Greek of Strife and Daniel o-daniel-whose-stories-are-numerous. The crossover to me was weird, absurd, and telling about how myth works. But now I’ve already said more words than may be in the poem. So read or listen to the poem again. Without me. With or without Wiki. Or Greek Mythology. Or the Bible. Or just read it or listen to it beastmode. Without this footnote.”
—francine j. harris