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penelope by Rg Gregory
name meaning thread weaver or duck
(these may be guesses from obscurity)
ten-year faithful wife whilst her husband
was gallivanting round the islands
deceiving the suitors by her shroud-unpicking
or maybe not such a savoury dame having
a high time with those after her favours
allegedly allowing hermes up her skirts
and becoming the mother of pan
or even (when odysseus was killed)
getting married to her own murdering son

penelope seemed to have been good material
for the greek tabloids (for which truth
as always was something of a side-dish)
and nowadays the long-suffering wife
who kept her would-be lovers at bay
with her deft (daft) needle has to be taken
with the same load of salt her husband
mixed in with his barley to prove how mad
he was and not fit to be a hero – we can’t
have celebrities who don’t get up to
the wildest things to leaven our own dull lives

i have a soft spot for penelope though
a bit like a cricketer deserted by her
own side having to play against eleven
thugs from the next village - so adept
with fingers and feet she could put herself
about as the whole team - her skills
at batting bowling fielding keeping score
prodigious in the eyes of bemused suitors
she’s the innermost feminine dream
thread of life weaver of stories – the duck
machismo gets bowled over and out for
View Rg Gregory:  Poems | Quotes | Biography | Books

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