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The trouble began
with the lies
about Eden
and Eve.

I hid my nakedness.
Pressed my school uniform.
Conjugated verbs.
Rode the subway to my cubicle.
Took notes in meetings.
Aspired to productivity.

Trailing the deer
my long confinement in shame
is fading.

The snake coiled
by the stream says
of separation.

Water flows
through the aspen grove
where the many
are one
and I weave through
their fine trunks
on hooves of light
and belonging.




  1. It’s interesting how some nature cultures see the snake as healing (and indeed, the symbol of intertwined snakes is still a symbol of healing). So instead of the fall, there is an embrace of earth, and the fruit of the earth, the animal guides and the ability to learn and explore from the spirit of life.

    I think we westerners, with our value of rationality, have lost this. Beautiful, moving poem. Makes me feel free just reading it.

    • Thank you Nicci. I’m so grateful for this generous comment! I love your interpretation of the snake guidance. I also experience it this way. I’ve also heard of snakes as being symbols of transformation (as they shed their skin). The view of the snake in the Eden story always seemed to me to be about knowledge, the fear of it, and the sense that the rules and authority structures were sacrosanct. Those who disobeyed and sought their own knowing were punished, shamed, demonized.

  2. Exquisite poem…I commit the beautiful grove of aspen to memory, close my eyes, and am there. Thank you!

    • Thank you Darla. I’m glad you like it.

  3. This is beautiful Ruth. I keep reading it over and funding new things in it. Thank you for sharing.

    • So glad you like it!

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