By Valerie Bacharach

I flew across the international
date line to yesterday.
Stayed on the plane,
circumnavigated the world,
arrived at time’s beginning.

A garden of wildness.

No need of that man
whose rib I stole,
no need of knowledge,
or apples,
or snakes,
or God…

Only this—
pure air

before pain found me.

Today’s poem was originally published in Poetica‘s “Poem of the Week” series and appears here today with permission from the poet.

Valerie Bacharach is a poet and teacher in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is a member of Carlow University’s Madwomen in the Attic poetry workshops and has attended Chatham University’s Summer Community of Writers. In 2015, she participated in Chautauqua Institution’s Writers Festival, and worked with the poet, Tony Hoagland. She conducts weekly poetry workshops with the women of Power House, a halfway house for women in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Voices from the Attic, Pittsburgh City Paper Chapter and Verse, Uppagus, U. S. 1 Worksheets, and Poetica.

Editor’s Note: Today’s poem is epic in its sparse simplicity. Rife with the unsaid, with what does not need to be written. At the same time, the poem is laden with intertextuality, the Bible doing the heavy lifting of connectivity and association, allowing what appears on the page to be ripe with the weight of ancient tales. Amid these rich layers, a lyric beauty emerges: “[I] circumnavigated the world, / arrived at time’s beginning,” “A garden of wildness,” “before pain found me.”

Want to read more from Valerie Bacharach?
Pittsburgh City Paper

About Sivan Butler-Rotholz

Sivan is the Managing Editor of the Saturday Poetry Series on As It Ought To Be and holds an MFA from Brooklyn College. She is a professor, writer, editor, comic artist, and attorney emerita. She is also the founder of Reviving Herstory. Sivan welcomes feedback, poetry submissions, and solicitations of her writing via email at sivan.sf [at] gmail [dot] com.
This entry was posted in Saturday Poetry, Saturday Poetry Series, Valerie Bacharach and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. jbarrettwarner says:

    I liked how the premise / set up was so lush, culminating in a simple but very stark image that takes over the poem like a very tiny fish swallowing a shark.

  2. Maya Elashi says:

    Nice! I, too, love the starkness, the profundity of the poem.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s