the worm in the apple

I see today that everyone on earth
wants the answer to the same question
but none has the language to ask it.”
~ Jim Harrison (Songs of Unreason)

Our species must have always been meddlesome
even when Eden gratified a whole hierarchy of needs
an insidious insistence coiled about us
questions of  ‘why can’t we?’, ‘what would happen if?’
and with a shrug and a ‘why not?’, the bough broke
such a scrumpy indulgence of windfalls followed
a glut of fruit we never quite shook off
and the seditious serpent seemingly slipped away

Taking what we can from the tree of life, finality
has proved its point, sticking in our throats
that dangling damocles sword, the end of the tether
merrymen fill their bellies against such a moment
sad ones belly ache about meaninglessness
and all of us in all tongues are now riddled with mystery
snakes in the grass, the worm in the apple
enquiries that replicate from one overwhelming question*
but we have not fully grasped how to address it
or even who to ask

[ *A. J. Prufrock had a bit of a say here]

Indulging some existentialism today as I join Jilly for another of her picks of Jim Harrison quotes as poetry prompt on Day 21 of 28 Days of Unreason