Adam and Eve on E Street, 1952
God formed man of the dust of the ground,
and into his nostrils breathed the breath of life.
Male and female He created them
Eve in pink plaid pedal-pushers
Adam’s hair waved with Brylcreem
like Errol Flynn in a white V-neck tee
and set them in Eden Garden
a red brick row house on E Street
once farmland at the edge of the city
inhospitable now even to wiregrass
and blessed them and said to them
Be fruitful and they multiplied
reusing year after year the flowery smocks
sewn for Eve’s first pregnancy.
And God said For food I give you
every herb upon the face of the earth
So Eve fixed us PBJs — Wonder Bread
with Skippy Peanut Butter
and Smucker’s Strawberry Jam.
And He said I give you dominion over
the fish of the sea, the fowl of the air and
every living thing that creeps upon the ground
so every autumn Adam went to the woods
and brought home to us hidden
in the pockets of his hunting jacket
cidery apples and, once, a tiny gray kitten.
And from the squirrels Adam had bagged
Eve removed the buckshot one by one
and stewed the meat with onions
to mask its gamey flavor
and pan fried in eggy batter
the perch Adam caught in the stream.
Evenings we watched Mickey Mouse
and Lawrence Welk, sang along with Mitch
and laughed at I Love Lucy while Eve
smoked her Pall Malls and Adam drank his Schlitz
until it was time to tuck us into bed.
Then, when we all were grown
but before they were very old
God said to them From dust ye have come
To dust ye shall return. We spread their ashes
on the river that runs out of Eden
imagining Eve in her pink plaid pedal-pushers
Adam in his white V-neck tee
young, full of hope, eager to taste
the forbidden fruit.
After teaching Western philosophy, mathematics and languages for forty years at St. John’s College in Santa FeL spent her first year of retirement as a visiting professor at Sun Yat Sen University in Guangzhou, China, traveling wide-eyed through China, Japan, Thailand, and Cambodia. Now returned home, she lives minutes from Santa Fe Community College whose fine arts and creative writing programs stoke her creative fires.