My daughter, I wonder why it seems
you are always reaching out for anything
you shouldn’t touch…yielding to the allurements
of scuttling scorpions, slithering serpents,
your father’s hunting tools glowing in fire-
light. And fire. Some incoherent desire
prompts your grasping fearful fingers. Lately,
when I see your innocent baby
hands reaching toward a glowing ember,
craving its beauty, I remember
my hand stretched out and a feeling–like ripeness
turning rot–as I touched the deep red brightness
of forbidden fruit. How could a touch,
one longing touch, have hurt so much?
This poem was written by Judy Unruh, and published in East of Paradise, a collection of poems written by her and others.
What does this poem say to you about temptation? Have you experienced reaching for something shiny, only to find it rotten in your hand? How does yielding to temptation reflect a faltering trust in God’s goodness?