Jill McDonough

Embroidered Eyebrows of Eve
November 10, 2014 Jill McDonough

Embroidered Eyebrows of Eve

 

Eve as reflection, Eve

as comment on Man.  On

Fall, on Curious Girls.  Eve as

self-portrait, Eve’s eyebrows

cutting or sly.  All the colonial

girls’ samplers the same:  same

tree, same Adam, same leaves

over barely imagined junk.  Eve

got more attention: each girl’s idea

of beauty, with each girl’s idealized,

envied hair.  Here red, here chestnut

curls.  Here golden, gleaming, satin

stitched.  But all of them, all these

Eves, once they have that apple, show

us something in their faces about

their artists, those little girls.  Some

are stricken, some wide-eyed.

Sneaky as older sisters, or laughing,

dismissive as moms.  These eyebrows

rounded arches, pleasantly surprised:

delicious.  These ones

a deep V, scared to death

of death, of what this means.

Jill McDonough is the recipient of Lannan, NEA, Cullman Center, and Stegner fellowships, and 3 Pushcart Prizes. Her most recent book is Reaper (Alice James, 2017); Here All Night, her fifth collection, is forthcoming from Alice James Books. She teaches in the MFA program at UMass–Boston and directs 24PearlStreet, the Fine Arts Work Center online.