Corfu

I think it was September
when I went away
to carry home
the sack of Troy. A wealth
to root you
firmly to our island home,
so near, not yet attained.

Ten years I wandered,
wrecked by wave, God
deaf to my pleas. Troy
sleeps with the fish. (May they eat
its curse!) Good men lie there too.
Hope died with them.

I cannot understand, my son.
Am I not Odysseus? Son of Laertes,
Autolykos, son of Hermes, begging
from his belly. Must I roam
this wide world feral
and abandoned?

Soon the shades surround me.
The sun no longer warms me.
You, at Ithaka, the prize.
The hunt is all I know now.

Dark. Wind. Rain.
Or tears.
Sleep, or death comes,
cold.

I live to hold your face,
to look my fortune in your eyes.

I live.

One thought on “Corfu

  1. Heart-rending! Again, you have a gift for extracting from this massive, epic, and often formulaic story, a moment of human emotion, but beyond emotion, a state of mind, and showing it in its own present. Middle-aged Odysseus, wondering if his life’s work and struggles have any meaning in the end, almost in despair, clinging to life by a thread of hope, the one thing that he can tell himself still matters. You make the heroes human, and therefor interesting again.

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