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Zoo keeper's view.

The snake ought to have been in a cage.
Being dangerous, it shouldn't be allowed to roam about,
spreading its poison. Is paradise for everyone?
Did God perhaps wish to let every creature have a taste of it,
even when in hell? (Which in turn renders hell all the more hellish?)
Or else: God knew that if Eden's relish would be exclusively a right
of the righteous, the place would become like some motel down the road,
and down on its luck, posting a large sign for all to see: "Vacancy!"

Besides, an attorney for the snake could have struck accord
arguing no previous criminal record, begging for pardon. That is,
if attorneys were permitted at all into that heavenly garden.

Had the snake been fenced in, all of us out casts would probably be
still enjoying Eden. Compared with the countless laws restraining us
wouldn't it be easy to obey a single decree, namely,
abstain from the fruit of a certain tree?
Alas! Maybe this only proves that liberty for all was destined for
even in paradise. For one's freedom is bound to infringe on another's.
Be it man or beast, there are always "the others"--

I tend the animals locked up at the zoo. I watch them running,
lost in the confined stretch, eyes clouded with memories of space.
The staring people outside are perfectly free to move it would seem.
Yet, each one of them too is prisoner of a secret jail within.

(From "Views on Eden")

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Author:Lee, Rena
Publication:Modern Age
Article Type:Poem
Date:Mar 22, 2005
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