Penelope’s Weave

Odysseus comes home

I’ve watched you pulling threads to stall the day
when men could not therefore contain themselves;
when all around you swirled and all betray
fidelity, and those Phoenician elves
came circling in your ears and yet you still
remained, and tended to your weave with zeal.
And if I threw my cloak aside to fill
your heart again, how would it make you feel
to know the sun has wrinkled me? The waves
Poseidon threw upon my shoulders sagged
my brow, and I am withered like the staves
of oaks marooned on Circe’s island, hagged.
But you, it is as though I never left,
while Kronos raged, accusing you of theft.





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Charles (Charlie) Southerland lives on his farm in North-Central Arkansas where he bales hay, mills lumber, hunts and fishes. When he has time, he writes poetry on just about every subject. He is published in Trinacria, The Rotary Dial, First Things, The Road Not Taken and other journals. He has been nominated for a 2016 Pushcart Prize and is a finalist in the 2015 Howard Nemerov Sonnet Contest. He likes to write sonnets, villanelles and sapphics.