Monday, July 21, 2008

Penelope

Penelope sits at her loom, sighing out to sea,
weaving a dark tapestry of poetry and tears.
By day her heart unravels. By night she knots
the ragged threads into a lying mask.

The suitors come, in waves, flaunting their
floggers and canes. Doms and sadists all,
they gather at her door, lured by words and
traveler's tales. They seek their Holy Grail.

You're the real thing, they say.

I'm owned! she cries.

But the long green leash falls from her neck,
the loose end coiling round her feet, searching
for the hand that held it in a loving, laughing grip.
A symbol of control no more, now nothing but a
plaything for grey kittens grown to cats.
They pounce, and kill the cotton snake.

She eyes the hall of men, bearing gifts of
chains and whips, their manhoods on display.
She contemplates the years. Twenty summers
passed her by, could twenty more dark winters
lie beyond this night of fears? She calls out to the sky,
to Aphrodite, Artemis, Athena, too, and prays.
She offers sacrifice, anything if only they will
clear his head and cleanse his eyes and
save him from the siren songs of cautious solitude.

Do what you must, she whispers now, as
promises of men with whips swirl round her lonely head.
Do what you need, she sighs. Sail the seas, nine weeks or months,
twenty years, go find your way, find the truth, find yourself,
just don't forget, please don't forget, I'm waiting here,
I wear your chain, I watch the low horizon, and I
listen for your voice. Just don't forget, please don't forget,
I'm waiting here, I'll know your voice, please don't forget
the joy that was and come back home again.

4 comments:

Paul said...

Oatmeal Girl, I always felt that Penelope had the harder part, but at least she had her hound.
Let us hope that you don't have to wait so long.
How to rid yourself of unwanted suiters, get bigger cats. Chuckles.
Warm hugs,
Paul.twuhm

Anonymous said...

One never forgets His cherished kitten !!

oatmeal girl said...

the thing is, Paul, the suitors aren't wholly unwanted. they amuse me. they distract me. and i never give in. i tell them i won't give in. we just talk.

they make me feel wanted.

because i don't really know if i'm wanted...

dear, dear anonymous. if only i knew that what you say is true. if only i could hear it in his voice. but thank you. i needed that.

marianne said...

I'm sure that anonymous must be right.