Before the Fall

by Annette Snyckers

Left very much alone,
I could dance anywhere,
even on the pale green carpet
afternoons in the living room —
the music was in my head,
I needed no audience.

From the Indian woman on the beach,
her sari a most beautiful thing,
my first yearning for the other —
my father bought a small brass bell
engraved with foliage and flowers.
Placed by my bed when I was ill,
it made a full-throated sound
to summon my mother
who brought green jelly.

Paradise was our garden,
the snake not yet uncoiled.


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