The Attendants of Hephaistos
(Iliad, Book 18, ll. 417-422)
He made us in the image of his wife.
His forges blew us into golden life.
We dance for him, support him, bring him things.
In each of us, a shining caged bird sings.
We think and feel, true women: molten, cool.
Our sparkling eyes reflect his pleasant rule.
We go about our many clever chores.
He's made of us strict cells of pretty bars.
We never think, "By now, one should have left."
We cannot steel ourselves. We lack the craft.
Photograph by Paul Lench/Anna Evans Copyright 2005
JBMulligan is married, with three grown children, and has had poems
and stories in dozens of magazines, including recently, Bonfire, Zafusy,
Tattoo Highway, and Poetry Renewal, In a Fine Frenzy, as well as two
chapbooks: The Stations of the Cross and THIS WAY TO THE EGRESS (Samisdat
Press). He also has work in the recent anthology Inside Out: A Gathering
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