“Circe,” “Andromeda” and “Lot’s Wife”

Poetry by Everett Roberts

“Circe,” “Andromeda” and “Lot’s Wife”

Circe

Have you ever seen a man,

made into a beast?

Have you ever watched men

change into something else—

Entirely at Desire’s goad,

Did you know any woman

Can transform a man

Heroes who’ve stumbled upon me

Ask me for my wisdom. I say

Children without fathers

become the worse for it.

Men could learn to keep their shape

In my presence

If they’re careful.

                                    I’ve seen even thinking men grow tusks.

Andromeda

I tried to spot the monster. 
I could not see, dazzled by

The sun’s light off the waves,

All I felt was a gale,

The ropes around my wrists,

And my heart pounding

Wondering if I should feel

Despair, do I give myself over,

Must I accept a woman’s lot?

He came to me from the sky

his golden hair and shining eyes,

godling or hallucination—he spoke, but

did I imagine him cutting

through my terror and releasing me?

when I realized I was not yet free;

relief while panic surged, the look of

His eyes said you owe me;

Yet this debt I am unwilling to pay.

                                     Would he even see me if I saved myself?

Lot's Wife

I had not imagined leaving our home

Like thieves. This place,

The hearth I tended,

The place I raised our daughters,

To you means nothing, as little as

the girls themselves, the mad gleaming

in your eye as you give them to the horde

outside? And in some stranger’s place,

Offered up your flesh and blood

To be devoured by a crowd,

Forgive me if I don’t leap to obey

Your every word and curse

Where our daughters learned to lie

the house you built,

You say it will be destroyed tonight?

This garden and the love I’ve spent

our life we built here, it will disappear like

firelight on daggers, or something

I cannot see, what madness is this

Betray your children, rant about god

to escape judgment, you’d forsake us

Abandon us without a second thought.

With each step: I wonder why I follow you,

Tears streaming, two pillars of salt.

                                        And you begrudge me one last look before I go.

About the Author

Everett Roberts

Everett Roberts, 33, is a trilingual technical writer, editor, and former Treasury sanctions violations investigator living in Washington, DC.