June 30, 2019

We were understudies for the goats
who were understudies for goddesses:
You were the light one, was Athena.
I was the dark one, was Persephone.
They frolicked in their mirror world,
the one facing the forest
from behind the barn, bleating
into an amphitheatre of trees.
Year by year their home filled up
with castoff toys and in exchange
they taught us tragedy. Like those sisters’
our foreheads were dense,
interminable, above shallow eyes.
And all the while the real goddesses
popped olives in their mouths
and gazed down from a mountain
that looked like an overturned washtub –
Athena with her famous
gray eyes that could halt an army
and her sister with black eyes
that could spoil fruit.

Sarah Rose Nordgren

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