Monday, April 18, 2022

From Jason and Medeia

            He moons out the
     window, sad
     as a priest, and she’s impressed by it. — Oh my but
     that boy
     can be pretty, when he likes! He kisses her hand and
     tells her, “Do not
     be afraid, Mother. I’m doing what the gods demand.
     The omens
     show it. We used to be rich, Mother. Now that
     we’re poor,
     we ought to have learned that nothing counts but the
     gods’ friendship.
     Let me serve them; then when you die, you’ll die in
     whether I’m near or not. You’ve told me yourself,
     that all there is in the world, at last, is the war or peace of dying men
and the old undying gods. The omens favor the trip. I must go.” And he 
kisses her cheeks.
     Ah, Jason!
     Cunning burled so deep he can’t see it himself! Omens! Did he ask his
friends the augurers what omens they see for his mother? Or Pelias? Or the
city? Would that the
     birdsongs sang
     his death!’
     And then she was gone; her black shawl
     vanished in the crowd.
     My throat was dry with shame. I was numb. I stood 
     too stunned
     to think. If I could have summoned speech that instant,
     I might
     have called it off on the spot, to hell with the
     But then, from nowhere, a man appeared at my side,
     a man—
     or god, who knows? — hooded till only his beard
     peeked out.

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