Katha Pollitt

Katha Pollitt’s first book, Antarctic Traveller, won the National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry. Her poems have been published in many magazines and Anthologies including The Oxford Anthology of American Poetry. In adddition to being a poet, Pollitt is also a widely published essayist and a columnist for The Nation magazine. Recent books include:Learning to Drive:And Other Life Stories and Virginity or Death! She lives in New York City.

The Expulsion

Adam was happy – now he had someone to blame
for everything; shipwrecks, Troy,
the gray face in the mirror.

Eve was happy – now he would always need her.
She walked on boldly, swaying her beautiful hips.

The serpent admired his emerald coat,
the Angel burst into flames
(he’d never approved of them, and he was right).

Even God was secretly pleased: Let
History begin!

The dog had no regrets, trotting by Adam’s side
self-importantly, glad to be rid

of the lion, the toad, the basilisk, the white-footed mouse,
who were also happy and forgot their names immediately.

Only the Tree of Knowledge stood forlorn,
its small hard bitter crabapples

glinting high up, in a twilight of black leaves:
how pleasant it had been, how unexpected

to have been, however briefly,
the center of attention.

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