Eve Names the Animals by Susan Donnelly

To me, lion was sun on a wing
over the garden. Dove,
a burrowing, blind creature.

I swear that man
never knew animals. Words
he lined up according to size,

while elephants slipped flat-eyed
through water

and trout
hurtled from the underbrush, tusked
and ready for battle.

The name he gave me struck
me to him. He did it to comfort me,
for not being first.

Mornings, while he slept,
I got away. Pickerel
hopped on the branches above me.
Only spider accompanied me,
nosing everywhere,
running up to lick my hand.

Poor finch. I suppose I was
woe to him-
the way he’d come looking for me,
not wanting either of us
to be ever alone.

But to me I was
palomino
raven
fox. . .
I strung words
by their stems and wore them
as garlands on my long walks.

The next day
I’d find them withered.

I liked change.

From: https://eventhealphabet.livejournal.com/85580.html

Date: 1984

By: Susan Donnelly (1939- )

One Comment to “Eve Names the Animals by Susan Donnelly”

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