A tree that grew in the Garden of Eden
a tree of innocence called
the Tree of Good and Evil. It was harmless
as opposites are in balance. It was also
the taste of innocence before it is betrayed.
When God removed the wall
he gave the lemon thorns and bitterness because it had
It is a taste we want most to subdue. It asks
to be left alone.
We use it with fish and tea. We sugar it.
Look out the window. It stands with a donkey’s
stance, hoping the day will pass.
Its scent through the curtains
with sweet blossoms. It hides the smell
of new babies.
Landis Everson, "Lemon Tree" from Everything Preserved: Poems 1955-2005. Copyright © 2006 by Landis Everson. Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press.
Source: Everything Preserved: Poems 1955-2005
(Graywolf Press, 2006)