Louise Gluck




Matins

Unreachable father, when we were first
exiled from heaven, you made
a replica, a place in one sense
different from heaven, being
designed to teach a lesson: otherwise
the same — beauty on either side, beauty
without alternative — Except
we didn’t know what was the lesson.  Left alone,
we exhausted each other.  Years
of darkness followed; we took turns
working the garden, the first tears
filling our eyes as earth
misted with petals, some
dark red, some flesh colored—
We never thought of you
whom we were learning to worship.
We merely knew it wasn’t human nature to love
only what returns love.