In the Orchards of Eden – a poem by Catherine Gonick

In the Orchards of Eden

At an outdoor café, we sip margaritas,
and my oldest friend says she’s done
with all that is dark. From now on
she wants only light. I know she’s weary
of my darkness and weird fear 
that too much radiance could pull
me from earth before I’m ready.

Licking lime and salt from her palm,
she reassures me: It’s spiritual, not
personal. As girls we ate too many
dark fruits. I hear her abandon me
along with the tree that fed us
and am scared to ask if we’ll meet 
again for a long birthday lunch. 

Across the table, backlit by sun,
she’s a shadow with a glowing edge. 
I don’t want to lose her. I want her
with me in the spoiled garden, 
where light and dark are still a pair.

Catherine Gonick’s poetry has appeared in publications including Soul-Lit, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Live Encounters, Notre Dame Review, New Verse News, Sukoon, and Forge, and in anthologies including in plein air, Grabbed, and Dead of Winter 2021.  She works in a company that combats the effects of global warming. 

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