Is it the spiraling nautilus,
empty with yearning,
beneath my solar plexus?
Is it the fertile serpent
that hisses up from my belly’s shell,
releasing its coiled umbilicus,
tempting and rattling my humanity?
Is it fishing with grandpa
out on the lapping waters of Lake Vermilion,
early, before the stars fade, and the edges
of the sky are barely beginning to blue?
Madam in Eden I’m Adam.
Offering up apples and palindromes.
Opening Pandora’s box.
Wallowing in temptation.
Quivering in its wake.
then curl inside that spiraling nautilus,
allowing its opalescent walls
to generate my breath
and soothe my solar plexus
while grandpa pulls a long worm
from the apple and threads it on my hook
then sends it bobbing through the waters
of my mostly settled soul.
Brenda Warren 2012
A big thank you to fellow poet Marianne who provided this link to Watermark: a poet’s notebook yesterday, from which I took the title prompt. The sentence, “Madam in Eden, I’m Adam,” reads the same backwards as frontwards. It is the first palindrome I learned, and it seems to fit. My grandpa’s arrival in this piece brings me great joy. It is day 16 of NaPoWriMo. It astounds me that my river still flows.
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