The faithful of Penelope

October 30, 2012
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The faithful Queen Penelope, body clenches as the air inside her lungs start to freeze. The strangers that now roam the halls of Ithaca’s palace; have blurred faces with blank, emotionless eyes. Rarely is Telemachus seen now, usually the only glimpse you see of him are the bottoms of his shoes. Of every hour of everyday, the dining hall is filled with suitors, gorging themselves with meat and drink as pigs do with rotten left over’s. Despite the fact that they are all in Odysseus’ hall for the hand of Penelope, not one of them puts the thought of romance in her name. To them she is just a beautiful accompaniment with the palace and the status of King of Ithaca.
As Penelope tends to her loom by day, she unbinds the threads that weave her future by night. Before brightest dawn does breathe, she tiptoes down the spiral, marble, steps to the loom, the destroyer of her heart. There she sits; holding breath for fear that someone might hear the sound of dust skidding across the tiles; fearing that someone might see her scramble for hope. Tell young dawn with her rose-red fingers shone, she works.
As the Suitors do get drunk over their own pleasures and desires, they start to smash the dusty bottles of wine with anger, leaving the servants to wipe up the intoxicating liquid as hawks do with bloody corpses. The sound of a lyre drifts through the chaos, to the ears of Penelope who lets curiosity move her feet. The bard that does sing, sings stories of the cunning Odysseus, once the destroying of Troy, now a lost pearl in a hollow shell at sea. These songs and tales dig deep holes in her heart as she listens.
“Why do your songs feel of ancient time and ancient heroes, Bard? If that be the occasion, let us sing of them; those who have passed on to the underworld. The cunning Odysseus has yet to encounter the keeper of the dead Hades .The gods reared him up like a young tree; his branches are still growing as the gods do will it”. She cries out, tears threatening to slip past her lids.
“Why, mother, why deny our devoted bard to the chance to entertain us any way the spirits stirs him on?” Son of Words, Telemachus sharply puts in, as he speaks to his mother of the truth of the situation. Disbelief and wonder spreads through her body as she watches her son peel the skin of his childhood away, letting his words blossom and his blood spill. After hearing all he had to say, she departs taking her sons instructions with her as she completes her tasks. Once in her quarters, the words her son had said sink into her skin, forcing her to her knees.
The suitor’s the start an argument over who shall share Penelope’s bed. Their shouts carry up to the faithful Queen, who lets the silent tears fall. It has been years since the Trojan War and yet a war still continues for her inside. Rather than give in to time and lost hope, she holds on to the faith and love she has for her Odysseus knowing that somehow, someway he will return to her. As the remains of her heart imbed itself in her tear ducts, do the puddles of tears start to fall till Gray eye Athena embraces Penelope’s eyes with sleep. As she sleeps, images of her Odysseus appear in her dreams. Images, of him sharpening rocks to needle point, of him push forward his crew, and last, the imagine of Odysseus nested on the rocks looking out onto the wine dark sea, tears sliding down his cheek.

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