Poetry of Kansas

Penelope In A Tantrum

She bit with vicious little teeth a length of purple thread.
"I've made that silly old man's coat a thousand times," she said.
 
Time-tarnished gold she intertwined; the wall-of-Troy was done.
"It's twenty years since any man has kissed me, hut my son."
 
She thought, "He's very like his sire," and hummed an old refrain:
"Odysseus, from a sea girt isle, bends to the oars again."
 
The clamor of her wooers checked the song upon her lips;
She sighed, remembering men at sea and battered hulls of ships.
 
A golden chain, a prince's gift, lay warm against her throat;
A swaying link caught warp and woof, and rent the purple coat.
 
She tried to mend the tattered web, a moon-besilvered pall.
"Yet this one smiles as do the gods; that one is strong and tall."
 
She turned impatiently away from loom and tangled thread.
'Tll never set another stitch in that," she almost said.
 
For she could not snap the shuttle, and she dared not leave the loom;
And she hoped her tears were for her lord, there in the quiet room.

__Helen Rhoda Hoopes

Contemporary Kansas Poetry
Helen Rhoda Hoopes
page 69
(Kansas City: Joseph D. Havens Company. 1927)

 
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February 21, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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