by Janet Hanna

The jewelled grotto sparkles
Where clear, icy waters spray
The deep green ferns and
Thick, spongy mosses.
Overhead a shaft of warm sunlight
Falls willingly on sweet, purple grapes
That hang in clusters
from their strong vines.

Tiny yellow violets tremble softly
In Zephyr’s southern breath.
Everywhere is the heady perfume
Of fragrant fruit and wild onions.

But the man who stands watching her,
silently, wonderingly,
Sees nothing of the scene’s ripeness.

She is beautiful.
Her woman’s soft curves are a promise.
His journey has been a long one.
He is tired. He is hungry.
His skin is stiff with Poseidon’s salt,
And his hair is matted with seaweed.
His famed cleverness a cruel joke
For the blind minstrel’s rhymed pleasure.

His strong shadow stretches onto the swept,
Hard floor at her feet.
She does not look up.

“So you have come, after all.”

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