Saturday, May 28, 2011


A boar suckled me.
Hunters reared me.
I am not as other women.

My limbs are fashioned of wind,
my feet are flame-shod.
I have strong arms to stretch the bowstring,
a heedless mouth that laughs across my shoulder
as one by one my doomed suitors
fall behind me
exhausted in the dust.

I am a thrown spear.
I am an arrow shot from the bow.
I am death's handmaiden
whom no man outruns.

But Melanion, with your smile as innocent as orchards,
you do not come wooing empty handed.
You fling before me Aphrodite's
treacherous golden apples
burning like small suns in the white dust,
so ripe, so round that my palms itch for them
and each one a leaden plumb-weight
to hold me to the ground.

First published in Isis Rising, 2000
Photo  © Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons


PaulaSJwriter said...

Extraordinarily lovely poem, Eileen. I am also fascinated by your book titles, especially the one set in Mohenjo-daro. I will find it! Which of your blogs touches most on your mythology interests?

Thank you!


Eileen Kernaghan said...

Thank you, Paula! Really, I'm fascinated by all mythologies; though if you scroll way way down to June 13, 2007 -"Wild women, robber-maids and travelling ladies" there I talk about the elements of Finnish mythology in Andersen's Snow Queen. I love those kinds of connections.