1976 Eliza R. Snow Poetry Writing Contest Winners

By Martha Pettijohn Morrise

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Women, Look toward Eve

Second Place
And there was Eden
where emerald newness flowered in eternal blend
of seed and harvest time. Abundance offered gifts of life
to answer every need, save one.
And Eve
rested there in innocence of evil,
(its face forgotten now),
progression circumscribed for all eternity.
Then … the serpent offered sight,
and cunningly denied death’s certainty,
so Eve partook.
And Adam,
understanding the design of their togetherness,
counted in his heart the awesome price
and, in devotion foreordained to stand,
took her by the hand and turned his back
on paradise.
Man and wife together,
curved in prayer, rejoicing in redemption promised,
sought the light of truth revealed
and learned obedience, the key.
Companioning his strength, she helped him
tame the land, shared the aching length of days,
the moisture-beaded brow. Endowed with knowledge now,
she dared the thistled paths that pierced her spirit,
strong in new-found peace.
Pain-bent, she brought forth seed, sorrowing
for those who erred, while guiding gently
toward the light.
Mother Eve,
now reaching out through centuried time
to me, a daughter of the latter day,
you give your knowledge-gift
entwined in shining strands of service
and wrapped with dedication to eternal choice.
Our sacred trust defined, you bridge eternity
and set a jeweled precedent for me,
and womankind.

[illustration] Illustrated by Michael Graves