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
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
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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