Creation of Adam by John Brueghel the Younger

Creation of Adam by John Brueghel the Younger

Emily Parke, Editor

You rested beneath Adam’s foot

in the Garden of Creation

and when Eve was created

you were swept into her throat

and made her cough

which stirred the serpent from its sleep

and though there was sin

there was also creation

and you created sin,

but you also created life.


You flowed up the river Tigris

drinking up its cooling body

until you were swept onto the banks

gluttonous and full

where the hands that met you

were not forgiving,

packing you into the walls of Sumer

where you were locked for many years

until the torment of the people –

a siege –

set you free


You drew fear from society

as you were pressed into clay

and formidable words

were drawn into your skin

that demanded revenge

and asked for teeth and eyes

and all of the things that people

most wanted to keep

until someone wanted them too much

and forgot

that you were



You laid on the floor of the Cenacle

and stared into the heavens

when men entered

and with tailing robes

swept the floor clean

and launched you into their

supper, a table filled with

bread and wine

and there you saw the body of Christ

but Christ did not see you


You fell beneath feet once again

as Christ labored above you

and a man above him;

and as you witnessed a death

on a cross

you saw the face of Adam

and his face was placed

and wet with tears

and he said nothing


You felt the heaviness

of the miracle

and the exhale

of a faraway wind

and wondered that

if God created the universe

what was the difference

between you and