My mother taught me strength.

My ten commandments were her words of wisdom.

Get an education, get established, be your own person.

She never wanted me to depend on anyone, especially a man.

To her, men were serpents.

They were our damnation.

“Eve trusted a man.” She’d say, her cigarette turning to ash in her hands.

“Now we all are cursed.”

The sins of Eve became the sins of our mothers.

She tried to warn me, but I didn’t listen.

Infatuated with the forbidden.

I strayed from her religion.