All Gifts

Today I’m going to share with you one of my poems. “All Gifts” was first published in A Texas Garden of Verses, the Poetry Society of Texas 2013 summer conference anthology. Enjoy!

All Gifts

“And speech [Hephaestus]
the herald of the gods put in, and named the maid
Pandora, since all those who hold Olympian homes
had given gifts to her, sorrows for hard-working men.”
           –Hesiod, Works and Days

He hunches over his work,
shoulders bunched
with surprising power,
feels sweat drip from his
straight Greek nose,
hears it sizzle as a drop hits the fire.

Made of gifts.

He drags his leg
irregularly behind him
as he moves
from fire to water,
dipping hot metal frame
to solidify shape.

She will be perfect.

When the fire of creation
has cooled,
he plumps her up
with fresh earth,
a shell of clay,
a robe of skin.

Sent as punishment.
The breath of life
washes warmly
from his misshapen lips,
mild with stutter,
gentled by fear.

She… She will be perfect.

And then he must give her up.

© Annie Neugebauer, 2011.
All rights reserved.

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