poetry by Brian James, art by Kerrie James
inspired by Genesis 3:1-15
I know that snake.
He curls himself around the firmly founded world.
He seems to bend the steady light and certain color.
I’ve seen him twist a right and ready good into a grief.
I know that fruit.
It hangs with heavy juice and heavy things to know.
It strains the branch it hangs from, and it’s ripeness pulls it lower.
I’ve seen it in my hands and I’ve tasted it before.
I shudder from the flavor; I am lonely when it’s over.
It stretches broad and makes for me a place to hide.
It stitches well to make a nearly seamless span of cover.
I wrap myself within it and my audience is blinded
From the shame that racks my body and the cold that makes me shudder.
I know those trees.
Their canopies create a shadow for the lost.
Their branches make a home beneath the knowing of the Lord.
We huddle close between them hoping he will overlook us.
His beckoning betrays the citadel these trees afford.
They wander on the earth that bursts with grace and thorn.
They trample and they travel, gather dust and soil floors.
I know the stinging of the serpent when he strikes them in the heels.
I’ve seen them crush the serpent when our garden was restored.
(8x10, Watercolor, 2012)