Mrs. Adam

By Kathleen Norris b. 1947 Kathleen Norris

I have lately come to the conclusion that I am Eve,
alias Mrs. Adam. You know, there is no account
of her death in the Bible, and why am I not Eve?
Emily Dickinson in a letter,
12 January, 1846

Wake up,
you’ll need your wits about you.
This is not a dream,
but a woman who loves you, speaking.

She was there
when you cried out;
she brushed the terror away.
She knew
when it was time to sin.
You were wise
to let her handle it,
and leave that place.

We couldn’t speak at first
for the bitter knowledge,
the sweet taste of memory
on our tongues.

Listen, it’s time.
You were chosen too,
to put the world together.

Kathleen Norris, “Mrs. Adam” from Poetry 156 (April 1990). Used by permission of the author.

Source: Poetry (April 1990).

MORE FROM THIS ISSUE

This poem originally appeared in the April 1990 issue of Poetry magazine

View this poem in its original format

April 1990
 Kathleen  Norris

Biography

Kathleen Norris was born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Hawaii. After attending Bennington College in Vermont, Norris moved to New York, where she worked for the American Academy of Poets. She was quickly immersed in the vibrant, often rowdy, artistic world of New York city in the early 1970's. Due to her growing interest in spirituality, Norris left New York for the peace of Lemmon, South Dakota, where she still lives. . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Birth & Birthdays

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Report a problem with this poem


Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.