After she lost her shield, Athene
turned toward the hills. Not sure
whether to come or go, no longer
bound by Zeus or Apollo.
After she lost her child nothing
came between her lap and the other
women, temptresses who
would take what she’d found
of safety. Finally alone,
the hard questions came. Was
her father the first?
Or Zeus? Migraines took food
from her stomach. Auras came
into her mind, stayed on
like afterimages of the sun.
One day she shut herself
in. A room with stone windows,
a chink of light, sounds of waves
and birds. Would no one pass
her story on? Those strangers
who came upon her leather
body, the wineskin long
empty, the dates shrunk to raisins?
Without a shepherd, even goats
will wander off from the auspices
of a house shaded by blackberries.