I wake with lines of poetry thrumming in my head, each off in different directions. What to write about this week that’s forbidden, the prompt from Sunday Scribblings. I thought of sex, but that’s too private to write about, the draw of what is forbidden adding to what we wish, to be loved, first kiss, first touching, first sex.
Then I remembered my stepfather’s steel-tipped boots. He worked in a steel mill, and was laid off. Beer drinking, a bear of a man, frustrated once too often by my Hollywood mother, he would explode into violence. His rage was forbidden. And me, I left that place, pretending I didn’t belong. Every day at school, I passed for one of them, the middle class, those so polite people who looked as if they never got dirty, who didn’t move to a different school every year, who didn’t wear second-hand clothes. How shocked I was to hear them swear, to finally learn that wife beating was as common there as anywhere else.
And so I lost myself in libraries, worked my way through school to be in that place where books were valued. I found that some people did create harmony and beauty, not so wild a dream, and I finally fell truly in love. Then my child was born, and all that I wanted for me, I wanted for her. The years passed. My daughter grew up a musician and today is everything I could not be, yet herself. Perhaps it was forbidden to dream this life I now lead, but I do not think so.
From the first bite of the apple, even so
Eve knew more than we give her credit,
that line separating innocence from experience,
disappears. And yet, I want to know
when she first saw the apple,
was she curious
as she reached out and tasted?
Was it because of Snake hissing words
that promised godhood?
Sometimes we must say no
to ourselves first and to others.
Even the smallest steps take us to a different place,
out the gates and into the world.
Lillith knew this as well. She chose the blood
of babies and yet flies absolutely free,
seductive and dreaded in some evil fantasy.
The rest of us know that choice remains:
Do we honor Eve or Lillith?
Or is there something more?
We make our own reality as we go,
renouncing what is forbidden.
Read what others have written on this week's theme at Sunday Scribblings.