Penelope at Daybreak

by | Autumn 2022, Poetry

Morning came again today,
and again I must rise.

I must wear my garment.
I must clasp gold around my neck,
and press my feet on the floor,
and meet the eyes of others.

How will I swallow
the acid in my throat?
How will I sweep
my disgust into the corner?

I will set my hair in braids.
I weave them slowly, strand by strand.
In them, I will tie up my disdain
and wear it like a crown upon my head.

Over it all, I’ll hang a veil,
so that I may see the world
through gauze
as if behind a wave of water.

Then, and only then,
I will descend the stairs.