Issue 158, Spring-Summer 2001
"A god can do it"—yes. But a girl?
The Greeks named it hubris,
As if she had a choice: this is all
She knows how to be. Someone gave this weaving
Into her keeping, she must let it play out.
There she is, the contest is over, there she is
Turning away from the frame: as if
Expecting applause, searching out
Her mother in the audience. But already
She feels it overtaking her. She understands.
How softly her head drops to one shoulder,
As if listening, or asking herself
How long has it been since I was happy?
Mostly she is tired, now, she has not
Slept for days. She used to sleep so well.
Watch her fingers, still touching what has been
Woven, as if feeling for an opening-
Slowly all the beauty in them is frozen.
Nothing will loosen them again. Yet how
Abstracted she is, only absentmindedly herself,
She has finished with it. We can go inside.
Where is the famous justice of jealous Athena,
Her merciful thirteenth vote? In the end
The gods are all paper and bronze, heartless.
They have not yet been told about love.