The Gertrude Munzenmaier Prize
Spring 2014
Libby Bernardin

Naming In the Garden at the Headwaters of the Tigris and the Euphrates

It might have been she who said Garden
in some ancient Hebrew or Arabic
standing near a Cedar of Lebanon,
Pomegranate slipping from her tongue
the way water cupped in her hand might
seep through her long dark fingers.

Did she spice the seasons with olives
or Sabra Pears or Heart of Palm?
Did she amble through the garden among
Tamarisk trees and vines with no thorns,
watch the tiny wasp pollinate the Fig blossoms?

It might have been she, mother of all who live,
who now is only remembered by how she
bit an apple, sauntered up to him who came first
held it up to his searching eyes, while she knew
(though we would not forgive her)
the only way to escape the gathering bramble
she was sure, was through what he desired.
©2014 Libby Bernardin