Orpheus, Turning

When you looked back
to take the unknown at a glance
what was on your mind?
Was it a tune
or just a single note
was it hope
or was it fear?

Did your head
move of its own accord like
a struck string swinging
or did you have to force it
twist it like the screws that hold
the lyre’s voice?

And where were your eyes?
Were they
looking for her, searching
love like light
hungry minions of your soul?

You knew you’d give her away
but still you had to look,
forcing shock on her face,
the freezing touch of betrayal
all so you could make a song of it
the fair one lost, then found
then lost again…

You hummed it as you went on
alone
and were humming it still
when we found you.
Hold still minstrel
raise your head
and let’s see that love song
purling from your throat!

[In elementary school, Alexandra Seidel had a wonderful teacher who introduced her to the twelve labors of Hercules. This was the first Greek myth Alexandra ever read, and more followed later during five years of Latin at school, all of which left a deep impression on her mind and sometimes on her writing. Alexandra’s prose and poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Star*LineLabyrinth Inhabitant MagazineNew Myths and others. Every once or twice, Alexandra blogs. She is never quite sure about what. Better go see for yourself.]

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