On Naming the Animals

— Dennis Richardson

For Marie Howe

Everyone forgets that Adam
Was new to this, that he had just
Been touched by God
Was still a little tingly,
Surprised even by his own voice.
But it was something the Lord
Said he had to do.
So as the sun rose on this, the sixth day,
His side still killing him,
He looked about for Eve,
Found a note that said
Something about a snake.
Just then the ground began to shake
There were roars and cries
He had never heard before.
Breakfast would have to wait.

I can just see him there now
Presiding at the line of the nameless,
As it formed according to height,
Seeing the penguins acting so upset about
Not being able to fly with those wings;
Sensing how disgruntled the donkey was
At being called an ass;
Eve stopping by with something called apples,
The just named horses loving them,
Then mentioning something about new tallow
Candles as she left.

You can imagine how bewildered and tired
He must have felt
Returning home so late.
His reluctance
To go with Eve to the bedroom
To have something
She had just named sex.

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