I have lately come to the conclusion that I am Eve,
alias Mrs. Adam. You know, there is no account
of her death in the Bible, and why am I not Eve?
Emily Dickinson in a letter,
12 January, 1846

Wake up,
you’ll need your wits about you.
This is not a dream,
but a woman who loves you, speaking.

She was there
when you cried out;
she brushed the terror away.
She knew
when it was time to sin.
You were wise
to let her handle it,
and leave that place.

We couldn’t speak at first
for the bitter knowledge,
the sweet taste of memory
on our tongues.

Listen, it’s time.
You were chosen too,
to put the world together.

Note to Poetry Out Loud students: This poem begins with an epigraph that must be recited. Omitting the epigraph will affect your accuracy score.
  • Kathleen Norris, “Mrs. Adam” from Poetry 156 (April 1990). Used by permission of the author.

  • Source: The Poetry Anthology 1912-2002 (2002)

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