Penelope Waits

This is the first part of a sequence that retells The Odyssey through the eyes of some of the characters in it. I thought it would be too large to post the entire sequence all in one post, so I will spread them out.

Depiction of Telemachus (her son) and Penelope from the Skyphos Chiusi, an attic red figure vase that is dated to ca. 430 BCE. 


Penelope Waits


why do I constantly

look out our window

hoping to see your ship

returning to its harbour?


why do I listen for the sound

of your footsteps echoing

up to our bedchamber?


but I know you too well


you’ve gone after

your own desires

& I’m the spider

who waits quietly


the thing with journeys

is that they spiral inwards

to your own dark heart


should you return

you’ll find me here

spinning a web

to ensnare you


& every night I unpick it

while hungry men wait below


none of them

have your eyes

or your smell


all the heroes returned

from the wars,

except you


long have I dreamed

of your dark hair, tanned skin,

& sinewy form to emerge

out of the frothing sea-water


& into my arms


but I know you too well

you will come home only

when you are tired

of your journeys


your betrayals

your lies


& after so many threads

I’m tired of waiting

for our lives to begin again


is there anything worth


between us?


Joanne Fisher


Detail from Penelope And The Suitors by John William Waterhouse

6 thoughts on “Penelope Waits

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