|Painting by Susan Klahr|
Eve expelled from the Garden by an angel,
anguished as she walks alone into the world,
deprived of Eden,
deprived of Adam’s understanding and support,
deprived of intimacy with her God,
all for the desire for knowledge.
Eve, unaware that all anguish is transitory.
Eve, unaware that God and Adam were the true intimates,
to the exclusion of her and her kind.
Eve, unaware that the wisdom of the world
brings the gift of light, sweet light.
Behind her, angelic vengeance.
Behind her, the weakness of Man and his fate.
Behind her, the dark verdancy of oblivion.
But before her, before her (if she only knew),
wisdom gained from the flesh of fruit would lead her
to the benevolent caress,
the delight of dance,
the healing power of flesh
moving to the sound of drums.
by Donna Snyder
Written from paintings by Susan Klahr and dedicated to her memory. Painting is shared with the permission of Ms.Klahr's family.
This poem is a selection from the upcoming Girl God Anthology: Jesus, Muhammad and The Goddess.
Donna Snyder was born into a family of Southern Baptists in a rural community in North Texas. She began her process of leaving organized religion when she was eleven years old. In her mid twenties she worked and lived in Navajo Indian Country which solidified her certainty that any belief system has meaning and power for its followers.
Donna lives in El Paso, Texas. Her third book of poems, The Tongue Has its Secrets is forthcoming from NeoPoiesis Press in 2015. Her work appears frequently in Red Fez, VEXT Magazine, and elsewhere. Until recently, she worked as an activist attorney for indigenous people, immigrant workers, and people with disabilities. Her blog is poetry from the frontera.
Susan Klahr was born in the Bronx, lived in Cape Breton in Nova Scotia for several years, and moved to El Paso, Texas in 1982, where she died in 2010. She was one of the first two people to get a Masters in Art from the University of Texas at El Paso, and went on to become one of UTEP’s most respected members of the faculty of working artists. Over her career, Klahr exhibited various places in North America, from Toronto to New York, from Halifax to Salt Lake City, and elsewhere.