Ritualwell

Tradition & Innovation

Eve Returns

large white canvas with huge blue abstract splatter paint with woman standing in front shown from the back with medium length light blonde hair in black shirt looking off to the right
I enter the county park, thrilled
by its orchards, green-gold fields
and lily beds.
 
Hauling easel and brushes,
I search for a place
in the open
 
but not alone.
Sprawled in a canvas chair, a woman
laughs into her phone, a signpost
 
to set up nearby
in view of skies, blank
and blameless as that first chapter,
 
In the beginning.
I survey the garden
I’d cast myself from
 
as a girl, bruised
and ashamed.
No need to rehash the story,
 
although shadows still snake
between trees of every kind,
some bearing fruit,
 
some, husks.
But here I stand, cedar straight,
my first try in years
 
to paint landscape solo,
to fill the canvas
with paths and vegetation.
 
It’s a popular spot.
Men pace singly and in pairs.
One sidles up,
 
but I reach for my palette knife,
meet his eyes squarely and
finger my mace.
 
Behind me, two women
pull dogs on leashes
and he veers off.
 
I return to my brushstrokes
of branches, thistles –
all the array
 
and it is good.
Don’t we all have seeds
of paradise within us?

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