Monday, March 31, 2014

Eve on Her Deathbed (by Linda Pastan) + Judithe Hernandez (L.A. artist)

 "Mascara #2" by Judithe Hernandez
It is part of a 1983 triptych called "Mascaras" (Masks).

Eve on Her Deathbed

In the end we are no more than our own stories:
mine a few brief passages in the Book,
no further trace of plot or dialogue.
But I once had a lover no one noticed
as he slipped through the pages, through
the lists of those begotten and begetting.
Does he remember our faltering younger selves,
the pleasures we took while Adam,
a good bureaucrat, busied himself
with naming things, even after Eden?
What scraps will our children remember of us
to whom our story is simple
and they themselves the heroes of it?

I woke that first day with Adam for company,
and the tangled path I would soon follow
I’ve tried to forget: the animals, stunned
at first in the forest; the terrible, beating wings
of the angel; the livid curse of childbirth to come.
And then the children themselves,
loving at times, at times unmerciful.
Because of me there is just one narrative
for everyone, one indelible line from birth to death,
with pain or lust, with even love or murder
only brief diversions, subplots.

But what I think of now,
in the final bitterness of age,
is the way the garden groomed itself
in the succulent air of summer—each flower
the essence of its own color; the way even
the serpent knew it had a part it had to play, if
there were to be a story at all.
by Linda Pastan, published in Paris Review, #192, Spring 2010

*Judithe Hernandez,


  1. Hi Sara, the image that was used to illustrate the poem by Linda Pastan, is not from the Adam & Eve Series which I began in 2009. It is part of a 1983 triptych called "Mascaras" (Masks). This particular piece is "Mascara #2". I'd appreciate it if you would correction the citation as soon as possible to avoid having this error become permanent misinformation on the internet. Thanks, Judithe Hernandez

  2. Judith..Thanks for getting in touch with me. Changes made (I hope).

    FYI, my name is spelled Sarah (with an h). Sarah Sarai

    ...Your art is wonderful. I'm from L.A. (Crenshaw District, S.F. Valley, Echo Park). Next time I'm there I'll seek it out.