I didn't know what red was until I tasted it,
Felt its bittersweet syrup cloy on my lips;
Traced its stain, seeping into my words,
Fogging my breath in its scarlet plumes;
Dancing exotically in the perfect light
Of paradise. I didn't know
What red was until I witnessed, its power
Obliterating my husband's will; watched
As it infected his mind, his body, his being -
With each mouthful. In the swallowing
The deed was done. I waited, in my nakedness,
Marvelling. I didn't know what red was
Then. But now I feel its seeds in my fertile womb,
Nurture each one with my free-flowing tears, bathing them
In long howling cries that shriek across the ages.
The anger on my tongue, the redness in my cheeks,
My husband, a paler shade; my boys,
Their blood. I long
For our home, where the sweet brown soil
Breeds contentment, and the sound of laughter
Dances through the leaves. I long
For that place, those days
When life was simple, and I didn't know
What red was.
Helen Broom is a Midlands lass who is proud of her Chesterfield heritage. She has had many lifetimes in this single incarnation and is currently experiencing life as an ashramini in the ashram of her Guru, Paramhansa Yogananda. She is avidly interested in the spiritual path of yoga (with a curiosity for advaita) and enjoys reading inspirational literature from all backgrounds and traditions in her search for truth.
She considers herself as a 'writer who doesn't write', not from a want of ideas but rather from a hesitation to put them on paper, but this is something she hopes to remedy in 2018. As an ex-English teacher and alumni of a Creative Writing MA from Newcastle University she appreciates the healing power of writing and the possibilities it offers for expression, connection and self-discovery. This is also something she would like to explore further in her writing journey.
In her ideal writing life, Helen would like to have a cottage with an abundance of West Highland White Terriers with whom she would pass the days drinking tea and writing children's stories. For now, she is happy dabbling with the different projects that come her way, including trying her hand at writing a musical and a series of poems in response to the men and women of the Bible.
Eve was written in response to this task. Its arrival was a rediscovery and reconnection to writing, and she is grateful to the spirit of Eve (whether real, mythological or allegorical) for rebirthing her passion!
Helen's previous Poem of the Month was Judgement Day.
Follow the link for a list of other Poems of the Month.
Eve © 2017 by Helen Broom: used with permission.
Copyright of this poem remains with the poet: please do not download or republish without permission.