Zeus Love Poem

by Maura MacDonald

It's a good thing he's a god,
because he has no way with women --
it's hard to learn the ways of love
from a father who eats his sons, or
the goat who keeps them safe.

"Be Mysterious,"
someone told him,
but while a shower of gold may be lovely
it bruises when it falls,
leaving his lover craving
the touch of soft hands
to sooth her battered flesh.

"Be yourself,"
is a cliché; he's never tried
so when she asks, he complies.
But the thunder pounds her flesh,
the lightning scorches her mind,
and she comes apart in a swirl of ashes
leaving behind a wailing son;
and he has at least a dozen of those.

"Give them what they want."
And he goes to them,
the goddesses and the mortal women,
dressed in the skins of their loves,
and doesn't understand why afterwards
they turn away from his unfamiliar eyes,
and the movements that aren't quite right.

So he stays up on his mountain,
but even there he's left with Hera --
who's always in a rage --
tossing about the stars
like the weeping mortal women
smashing the crockery
after his divine retreating form.

Maura MacDonald says: I graduated from Roanoke College with a degree in English and am currently living in the UK where I'm working on an MA in publishing at Oxford Brookes University. I'm taking advantage of the English weather to go on many long walks on misty nights, but I've yet to come across any goblins or their like. I have a sporadically updated poetry blog.

As for my favorite fruit, I have to go with raspberries, especially the sort that grow wild in Michigan woods.

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