And It Was Bad

Anne Carly Abad

And It Was Bad

The garden was full
of broken things—
snakes that spoke
in slithering speeches
and thickets of ants
that lazed along riverbanks—
forced her to go around
the dance-afflicted hill
just to catch Adam’s fish
which he ate all on his own.
Adam, that broken man,
was always on about
that rib she owed
and how he’d been having
aches and pains
since she took it.
So of course he’d blame her
for the sudden indigestion,
bloating and wailing
at the edge of the fields
where she hid among the flowers.
Ok. Ok! She set out for a cure.
She went to the hairy tree
with the fibrous fruit,
which snakes licked
whenever they had too many
moon rocks with bird eggs.
But goodness, the fruit
was a dead-weight bear
and blacker than the shadows
under her sleep-robbed eyes.
It slipped from her hands
just as she lost her footing,
hit the sun and doomed them all
to darkness.
Snakes bit their tongues speechless
while the hills froze
like good little children.
She ran in circles
which was all she could do
in that silly garden
until daybreak came
with the great big wallop
that shook her insides
into a tangled mess
and filled the land
with Adam’s cries
that no it wasn’t him,
he didn’t do it.
So somebody, please
give him a break!

Anne Carly Abad received the Poet of the Year Award in the 2017 Nick Joaquin Literary Awards. She has also received nominations for the Pushcart Prize and the Rhysling Award. Her work has appeared in Apex, Mythic Delirium, and Strange Horizons, to name a few. She continues to write in between managing her business and taking care of her three-year-old.

Author’s Comments/Backstory: “I have always been amused by the stories of creation. The Garden of Eden version has two people who appear to be made for each other, but not quite. They do silly things with their freedom and it always does remind me of how my brother and I were like as children. We’d eat glue and mix ketchup into the beef soup. We’d steal each other’s cookies and Yakult. We’d lie to our mom about who’s fault it was that the vase broke in two. Rather than taking myths too seriously, I’d like to imagine what it’s like to be convinced by a snake to do something I shouldn’t have.”

Editor’s Notes: The fractal abstract image ( has an unsettled eeriness that complements the poem.

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