Sue Sinclair: Orpheus Meets Eurydice In the Underworld

ORPHEUS MEETS EURYDICE IN THE UNDERWORLD

 

Still limping, she has come. She waits at the foot of the hill,

doesn’t dare go further, remembers how it once vanished under

her feet.

 

She has spent the time thinking about her wedding day, tracing

the mark on her ankle where the serpent bit. It hasn’t healed

yet; perhaps it won’t until he comes back. She has never desired

his death, but wished for it as one wishes for rain.

 

The steep hill, where it led and couldn’t lead. So many times.

 

When he arrives he looks more tired than she can understand.

The lyre has vanished; they stand together silently.

 

Even as she remembers his face, she loses something else. She

has been alone so long now; how often she has stood here, how

much she has wanted to climb.

 

She takes him home, puts him to bed, then slips in beside him.

His childhood bed, too short for him now; they will have to find

another.

 

They waken slowly. As ghosts they pass through each other’s

bodies, she puts her hand into his heart. He has been worried

she would forget.

 

They play in the fields, run races, drift through tall grasses

carelessly, as only those who have had to wait forever can. They

have a private sign language; no one speaks in this place, even

the streams are still.

 

Sometimes when they are walking she teases him, falls behind.

He looks over his shoulder again and again: there she is. They

never tire of this game.

 

Sue Sinclair from The Breakwater Book of Contemporary Newfoundland Poetry
eds. Mark Callanan & James Langer, Breakwater Books, 2013

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