One Story Leads to Another . . .

               Treated as rubbish . . . / upon a mass of dung . . . / Abandoned there,
and half destroyed with flies/ old Argos lay.

—“The Odyssey” by Homer
(Translated by Robert Fitzgerald)

You could not leave your weaving
long enough to feed an old dog,
last white-muzzled link to your husband,
mirror image of your own fidelity?

Not bother, in the heated press
of supplicants, to bathe him, brush
the mats from his coat, until he
embodied his name, Argos,“shining,”

Not bid him curl up on the soft shroud
spooling out at your feet, his throaty growl
perhaps then proving deterrent enough
to keep an unruly pack at bay,

And not once, sleepless, lonely, invite him
up onto the bed Odysseus made for you,
one of its four legs a gnarled, alive olive tree
bearing fruit itself possessed of a heart of stone.

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