After Happily Ever After Wendy Taylor Carlisle

Home Fires

At the gates, Thetis' boy, the one with the bad heel,
waits for his war. The Gods know his mother

tried to save him, to make her mixed marriage last.
Six children sacrificed, the ardent goddess

blazed to purge her seventh of mortality
but where she held him, he scalded.

Out of childhood's shadow, he doesn't feel
his own weak foot; he can't recall

the water or the stranger's bone. Eager
for vengeance, not enticed to live forever,

he hefts the great round shield, his principal defense
a mother's love. Underneath his breastplate

what is mortal and almost mortal thrums.
He doesn't notice how the touched place burns.


October 2003 2River