After His Fall
by Ruth Linea Whitney

The serpent draws his skin
between the waters and the woods,
and so keeps clear of the Lord God’s
footsteps, the knowing heart
he hates. Late, late:
this song calls up his grief
for the old life,
his tall striding days
among the leaves of morning.
From the sedge, he sees
each ripple chasing bread
upon the waters rushing past:
his freedom. He sees
the tall tribes striding,
while he alone goes belly forth
upon mounds of earth
hollowed around the echo
of the Lord God’s footsteps.
Here he’ll feed the seed
of secret hurts and feel
them grow.

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