Kenneth P. Gurney


Return to the garden. Yes,
Eden. Place yourself in Adam’s
shoes—I know he had no shoes—
in that moment before the snake
tempts Eve. Let us say, you notice
the snake. The apple, still untouched,
dangles from the tree; the snake’s
darting tongue remains
lost in conversation.

Would you pick up a stick or a stone
and kill the snake? Eve?

Before the first bite
there is no knowledge
of good or evil.

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My grandmother’s ghost comes to visit,
but I do not recognize her, having never met
in life, through photos, or stories told
by my parents.

I do not know why she looks in my bedroom
for her daughter who should be practicing piano,
but is down at Comiskey Park on Ladies’ day,
half-price tickets, Ruth’s Yankees in town.

I do not know how my grandmother’s ghost
finds my bed in Albuquerque—so far from
the south side of Chicago, from the L, from
the many fine buildings that rose from the great fire

to form the World’s Columbian Exposition.

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