22 November, 2010

Scylla and Charybdis poem

Scylla and Charybdis

Nine months you floated infinite seas,

Small mariner, navigating heartbeats.

Then, All Soul’s Day, the labor harrowed

And you set sail through treacherous narrows.

My body, once a nymph, a lovely daughter,

Born of god and mortal, turned monster.

The suction sucked you to the slight of my hips

While many heads howled outside the cliffs.

The prow of your ship skirted the dark strait

Between that rock of bone and that hard place,

Yet for two whole nights the mean, bitter myths

Would not let you pass through their cruel midst.

Like Ulysses’ men, plucked from the bow,

They cut you out of me. And now

Each midnight, passage to your sweetest dream

Is interrupted by terror. You scream.

Rocking you at my breast to soothe your wails,

I sing a lullaby: sail, baby, sail.

© Nancy Slavin 2009

1 comment:

Gwydion said...

You are a very lovely poet, Nancy. I love hearing your poetic voice again!