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Fickle Muses an online journal of myth and legend

Sunset
by Joseph Biondi

Links for Joseph Biondi

Penelope
By Dale Harris

Husband, I cry you to me, call and conjure!
Use this moon, this silvered saucer of a moon
to bring you home.
You are away too long.

Husband, I call you
in the speech of young birds.
Their cry mine, their need for air,
for soaring flight, mine, their vision mine,
to skry you clear.

There are wonders afoot, marvels I tell you!
The good triumphs finally,
the time of strife and terror over, gone.
It is impossible to say more, only come!

You, who are fluent
in the language of rivers and sky.
You, born to champion the earth,
heal all small and injured things.

The garden grieves, missing your tending.
the horses, yard animals look through me
as I am a ghost, watch for your return.
Their joy tells me you are close.

See these nets I have knit,
these garments sewn?
My work is done.

Celebrate again with me our wedding day.
We are hand fasted, bound and sworn.
Ancestors known and unknown stand with us,
urge us to each other, bless our bond.

Through the seven webs of existence,
our tangled, troubled lives are joined.
The weft of our love winds,
treadles move, shuttles fly, patterns form.

We contemplate complexity.
They will say my life
was an accommodation to yours.
Sometimes that does seem so,
small truths often difficult to discern.

What we endure for each other
goes without saying,
what we want from each other
not always clear.
What I want from you is what I give,
nothing more.

And if this life is apocrypha, foretold, foreordained, no possibility of change?
Still it must be lived,
The Weaver deems it so.

But I am done with undoing,
now only crave simplicity.

Husband, stay long before you leave again,
long enough for good reports of you to go out
to the surrounding towns,
our children learn to know you.
Let strong loyalties be forged.

Long enough for new fields to be planted,
harvests and holy days, the next weavings begun.

There is only this in life, to exercise one’s will.
Claim what you belong to,
rule what belongs to you.

Then come when I cry you here again.


Previously published in Central Avenue

Read more of Dale Harris' poetry at http://www.daleharrispoetry.com
Get her poetry & music CDs and hear more poems at http://www.cdbaby.com/all/daleharris

Audio: "Penelope" read by Dale Harris