You tried to shield us with your aegis
As we meandered the old garden paths.
You allowed only rehearsed exploration
And taught the names our fathers gave the trees.

You covered naked wisdom for our protection
As we passed by the amaranth tints of Sodom’s apple.
We skirted stone pillars choked with oleander
And wove garlands dangling with datura pendants.

You raised your sentinel to block the light.
As we wilted in a penumbra cast in bronze and iron
We fumbled through the maze of thorny hedgerows
And never learned the patterns of snakes.

You fought to preserve our innocence
As we learned lessons through weathered gaps
You cast us out when we learned too much
And found out how little we knew.