Pat Jones

The Serpent, After Eden

by Yakov Azriel

How difficult to speak, devoid of voice,
Unable to request a second chance,
Or to admit I made a wretched choice
Dictated by my pride and arrogance.

How difficult to write, devoid of arms,
Of fingers and of hands that hold a pen
And scrolls on which I’d copy fervent psalms
Expressing how I wouldn’t err again.

How difficult to pray, devoid of soul,
That inner arm which pulls away from wrong,
That inner voice which teaches self-control
And whispers in the dark, half-cry, half-song.

I slither, soulless, limbless, mute and thin;
How poor a diet is the dust of sin.

Yakov Azriel was born in America and moved to Israel at the age of 21. He has published over 100 poems in magazines, and two books of poetry: Threads From A Coat Of Many Colors (Time Being Books 2005) and In The Shadow Of a Burning Bush (Time Being Books 2008).