For doliquePenelope's Despair
It wasn't that she didn't recognize him in the light from the hearth: it wasn't
the beggar's rags, the disguise - no. The signs were clear:
the scar on his knee, the pluck, the cunning in his eye. Frightened,
her back against the wall, she searched for an excuse,
a little time, so she wouldn't have to answer,
give herself away. Was it for him, then, that she'd used up twenty years,
twenty years of waiting and dreaming, for this miserable
blood-soaked, white-bearded man? She collapsed voiceless in a chair,
slowly studied the slaughtered suitors on the floor as though seeing
her own desires dead there. And she said "Welcome,"
hearing her voice sound foreign, distant. In the corner, her loom
covered the ceiling with a trellis of shadows; and all the birds she'd woven
with bright red thread in green foliage, now,
on this night of the return, suddenly turned ashed and black,
flying low on the flat sky of her final enduring.Achilles after Dying
He was very tired - who cared about glory any longer? Enough was enough.
He had come to know enemies and friends - purported friends: behind all the admiration
and love they hid their self-interest, their own suspicious dreams, those cunning innocents.
Now, on the little island of Leuce, alone at last, peaceful,
no pretensions, no duties or tight armor, most of all without the humble hypocrisy of
heroism, hour after hour he can taste the saltiness of evening, the stars, the silence, and that
feeling - mild and endless - of general futility, his only companions the wild goats.
But here too, even after dying, he was pursued by new admirers - these, usurpers of his
memory : they set up altars and statues in his name, worshipped, left.
Sea gulls alone stayed with him; now every morning they fly down to the shore, wet their
wings, fly back quickly to wash the floor of his temple with gentle dance movements. In
this way a poetic idea circulates in the air (maybe his only justification) and a
condescending smile for everyone and everything crosses his lips as he waits yet again for
a new pilgrims (and he knows how much he likes that)