Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Zeus In Contention

Did she put on his knowledge with his power
Before the indifferent beak could let her drop..
William Butler Yeats

( A match somewhere in the Scottish countryside.)

At first, he appears as a cloud
looming over the course
with the full plumage
of a swan, his classic disguise.

Then he spies her
on a hillside slant.
One ankle in shallow water
the other rising slender
above a white shoe.

About to swing her club,
she turns her head, startled
by some movement in the trees.
A sound similar
to breaking twigs or flapping wings.

It stops. Cold stillness
and while trying to refocus,
she finds her ball
missing. A large hawk
stands in that spot
staring at her form.

She stoops to meet
the bird eye-level.
He doesn't blink
as she looks
into the topaz light

and sees a handsome man
juggling golf balls.
Nothing of her own image.

A god mirrored
in the eyes of a bird,
he alters myth, forcing
the athlete upon herself.

Transfixed, she is not Leda
in the poem by Yeats
or martyred painting by Moreau.

She is Leda, possessed
by her compulsion
to win, enough to unbind
her bra and hair, enlist magic
while leaving her slim

on a mattress of wild grass.
His scent more prevalent
than late afternoon shadows,
a sea of heather.

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