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The Creation of Adam

Jay Ruzesky
From:   Prism International. 36.1 (Fall 1997): 84-85.

On the spring sidewalk the boy
is drawing God,
getting the long white hair flowing
in the right direction,
mixing two kinds of chalk
to get the colour of the robe right.

He's turned the Sistine chapel
on its head, even puts
jagged lines where the paint cracked
a hundred years after Michelangelo's death.

Then he draws Adam,
reluctantly reaching up
to God's accusing finger.
Stretch as he will
God can't touch him.

A few people have stopped to watch
and when he wants to draw under their feet
he levitates them.

I want to bring the kid home with me
and set him to work in the kitchen.

"Do something Italian-pastoral" I tell him,
and he starts drawing on the west side,
beginning at the window and working out.
In half an hour the wide wall
has disappeared.
He's put a bean field
in the distance where my neighbourhood used to be,
and a garden with tomatoes, basil, and a grapevine
up close to the kitchen.
Even better, he's made it late summer
so the fruit is ripe,
painted a wooden table
stocked with homemade wine and with cheese.

"Don't stop now" I say,
I'll be back;
and when I return in an hour
there's someone making pesto
by the stove, grinding basil and garlic
so the room stinks with edible love.

In my daughter's room I find a manger
surrounded by farm animals,
sheep nudging me for grain
as I look down on her
glowing so brightly
I fear she'll set the straw on fire.

My wife takes my hand, leaving the baby
with her admirers,
to float to where the bedroom
used to be. Our clothes, erased,
we are standing in a garden
by a bed of clouds and light
and I'm thinking of the artist,
where he went and
how much money I must owe him,
when she pulls me down
under the tree of knowledge of good and evil
and the last thing I hear is
her voice: "He's good, really good."

Jay Ruzesky's works copyright © to the author.

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