Friday Poem

Unfinished Book

The Achaeans have been pinned against their hollow ships
all winter. Not because this is how the epic unfolds,
but because this is where I left off, tired of the clashing of swords,
the clamor of armor, the spilling of black blood,
tired of the myriad of forgettable Greek names and
their fathers’ places of birth.

Maybe later this month, after I’ve read The Elements of Style
and my daily horoscope for the second time, the Achaeans will once again
raise themselves from the dirt, released from their paused state,
and drive back onto the plain of Scamander to rescue a reluctant wife.

Or maybe this summer, when beach reading gives way
to more heroic struggles, Achilles will quit
his stubborn stance and rejoin the reckless battle;
but nothing will happen until I pick up that book and silently
recite the words, turn the pages, and continue the struggle.
I, Eric, son of Brent of Salt Lake.

by Eric Parker