Friday, August 15, 2008

Exonerate the Snake?









Some blank verse for Friday, then:






Exonerate the Snake?




The Bible and John Milton blame the Fall
On Slim--the slender slitherer alleged
To have approached Ms. Eve and sold her on
The idea of the Fruit. With deference
And all respect that's due and duly orthodox,
I have my doubts. The snake? A pea-brained length
Of skinny tubing lying in the grass?
A narrow fellow, as Ms. Emily said?
Okay: I know a boa can enwrap
A human or a cow and swallow whole.
Sure, cobras, vipers, rattler, and mocassins
And such can strike and kill. But please. Hold on.
Be serious. If we insist on saying snakes
Must take the fall for loss of Paradise,
It seems we run the risk of looking low--
Yes, lower than the snake. We chose to cast
Off innocence for worldliness, and God
Said, "Fine. I call it sin, and I say it's wrong.
What's more, I think it's dumb. Your lease is up.
Get out of Eden." What happened then, it seems
Was something between God and human kind.
To blame a lowly flicker of the tongue,
A crawler with cold blood and clammy hide,
Seems more than just a bit convenient.
Let's take the rap. The fault was ours, not Snake's.


Hans Ostrom


Copyright 2008 Hans Ostrom
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