Once you’ve given it all, all, away it can’t be taken back. On the rocks his broad chest sunken, Odysseus weeps for his wife. The freedom Penelope served him was meaty hunks he gorged upon. He craves her smallness. How big she made him feel. My deep, salty cave is a prison to him and I grow tired of pouring my- self out to make men whole. I wasn’t born despairing. This is my punishment. Descended from an older race of Gods – not worshipped like Olympians up on their distant mount, but knuckle deep in soil, in sea, in time. My father, not welcoming those la di dahs those Gods of mind and cunning now holds the heavens on his wet back his stinking burden to split heaven from earth. My burden for his support, this island, this deep cave, this golden loom, my only company washed on the shores wounded, lost. This one who weeps is not so special but he has favour with the Sky Gods. My youth was long and I was flecked with gold. My eyes, my skin, my voice. Golden yet not made of gold. I was mistaken for a Goddess, still I age. Slowly. My youth was long, but middle age yawns wider. Dusk falls like ash. Crows roost in the crotches of fig trees. Now I’ve given my all away, there’s nothing. He must go back.
Claire HM teaches English and literacy to refugee and migrant communities in Birmingham, UK. She has studied Gender, Education and Creative Writing as a postgrad. Alongside her writing Claire’s biggest passions are tarot, intersectional feminism and kitchen witchery. A long time ago her poetry appeared in the Rialto and Magma. She hangs out too much at Instagram @claireylove