Adam’s Peak, located in Sri Lanka, bears the footprint of Adam and has attracted pilgrims from different faiths down the ages. The poem, however, turns its spotlight on the silent figure of the oriental Eve, who too is somewhere in the neighborhood, perhaps in a nearby stream, ignored through the ages.
The Other Eve
I walk the earth that earths you in dust to dust to dust to dus’ dus’ dus’ thus Thou should’st mark Thine image—
Thy image mocked by a pine- apple. And serpentine servers sweeten the dark mother’s face. No one is surprised
that I should turn to rare voice of voiceless beasts swishing in a slither of a swear- word wounding my womb with
Thy curse upon my face stuffed, the chew dripping the dew dropping upon my tongue in you
in Africa, South America, Asia, good old Erithrea. [End Page 156]
All to Adam’s Peak. Ascend Jews and Buddhists, Christians, Zoroastians, Saracens, in search of one man’s foot
prints pressed into dust hardened into harsh rock where only men may bow head, still touch ground to
slurp swish of stream; the sip before the last step, before
the foot in foot, the quenching at my face. [End Page 157]
Clara A. B. Joseph is associate professor of English and adjunct associate professor of religious studies at the University of Calgary and author of The Agent in the Margin: Nayantara Sahgal’s Gandhian Fiction (2008). Her first book of poetry, In the Face of the Other, was published in 2016 by Interactive Press, Brisbane, Australia. Her poems have appeared in Toronto Review, Mother Earth International, Canadian Women’s Studies, Journal of Postcolonial Writing, and Transnational Literature.