Caroline Lazar

Cassandra

Cassandra sees the shadows round
the house of Atreus

She sees
Beyond the seeming,
Beyond the royal homecoming,
Beyond a wife who welcomes
The conquering hero down from his chariot
With honeyed words

Beyond the tapestries which
stream like blood from the house of Atreus

Beyond the daughter sacrificed for a fair wind,
Beyond the mother plotting to avenge a daughter's sacrifice.

She sees Atreus who brought
A curse down on his house
By feeding Zeus the flesh of a boy
To test the god's all-seeingness.
Demeter, a mother bereft,
Did not notice what she is eating.

Grieving mothers and sacrificed children
Are the weft of the story.

Cassandra sees she is caught in a net.
It is more terrible to know
Your hour of death
Than to die unseeing.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, March 22, 2012

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Maya Angelou

Caged Bird



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