Odysseus Returns, The Return/6 (poem)



Odysseus Returns



Saltwater is in my blood –

much of my life has been spent

in the sea & boats


after Troy fell

it was a rough journey home

every day I dreamed

to return to the familiar rocky shores

of my kingdom


to see it’s olive trees & quiet bays

& wander the long hill-paths


she held me captive for years

& slowly I fell for her charms

but she told me I had to go


she gave me a sharp axe &

I built a boat from the tall

alders, poplars, & firs

on her island, once it

was finished she loaded

it with pomegranates, goat’s

cheese, apples, & wine

& so off I went sailing

the oceans paths home


when I returned I was alone,

there were parasites living

in my house

eating my food,

drinking my wine &

after I killed them all

I was king again


with a people I no longer recognise

or understand


a young man calls me father

watching me intently with every step


& my wife

is not her

not the woman I left


she has erected walls within walls

I cannot find my way through her labyrinth

she kept suitors out of our bed for so long

she has grown used to the solitude


every night I dream

I am lying on the white sand

listening to the waves rolling lazily ashore

& she is there

standing over me

softly singing

while a breeze blows through

her long brown hair


then I awake

it is still dark

& I hear my wife

muttering in her sleep


on the wind

I hear the waves

calling me again –

saltwater is in my blood



Joanne Fisher


This is the sixth and final part of my Odyssey sequence.

1. Penelope Waits

2. Telemachus Schemes

3. Calypso Sings

4. Eurylochus Laments

5. Athena Watches




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©2020 Joanne Fisher

6 thoughts on “Odysseus Returns, The Return/6 (poem)

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