Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Thinking of Athena

that wise goddess,
seeing the way the world was shifting
back in the age of bronze,
and watching the fate of other goddesses
during that dark era
where goddesses became weak and bullied,
put aside her bare breasts
and bell skirts,
snakes twining up her arms,
and kissing her last lover farewell,
left the wild ways
of her neolithic youth behind her,
letting herself be reborn
from Zeus' forehead,
armed with spear and shield,
dressing always as a girl,
her daddy's darling,
potent in perpetual adolescence.

Times, though, change.

She, like all the other old gods
are still with us.
Stripped of their temples,
they walk among us,
warming themselves
at the altars of our day-to-day lives,
personifications of just what we do
to get by.

I think I glimpse her,
a gray-eyed woman in her power suit,
walking into boardrooms
making deals,
other times, I see her on campus,
dressed in comfortable crisp linen blouses
and swirling natural fiber skirts
or sensible trousers.
She often attends women's workshops,
where she teaches all the interesting things
using her shuttle and spear,
like how to win in politics,
how to knit and make beautiful things,
how to shoot.

Now that the Thunderer
is not quite the power broker he once was
and she no longer needs him as cover,
I wonder if she will bare her breasts again,
let the snakes twine back up her arms,
and find a lover to kiss once more,
put away her girlish dress,
and become, once again,
fully woman.

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