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From the beginning, he was willful and always wanting more. Gardener that I am, I hoped to train his nature toward stubborn love of God and desire for growing good. At first, it seemed to take— his arguments with Abel ended. He worked the land, married well, made outward offerings to the Lord. But something inside was amiss, something no mother imagines when she gazes into newborn eyes and heaven binds her heart with love’s first green tendrils. I thought I’d learned all about hard choices and the sorrow consequence can deliver, but now I am as God— good and evil offer boughs of heavy fruit to every hungry heart.
Merrijane Rice is a wife, mom, Latter-day Saint, poet, and editor. She published her first poetry collection Messages on the Water in 2017, and her second book Grace Like Water with the help of Mormon Lit Lab in 2020.