By Monita Soni
Huntsville Branch, Alabama
When Zeus created you, “O Gifted One,”
Athena clad your innocence in a silver gown,
Taught your hands to weave and stitch
And cast on your shoulders a glittery veil,
Charites encrusted your garlands with jewels,
Horae molded your silver crown.
Aphrodite herself touched your face
And limbs with a languorous longing
That seethes like an intractable poison
In hearts and souls of mortal men,
Hermes the trickster gave you a deceitful
Tongue and placed in your hands a pithos.
You, “All Giving,” did not once doubt that
The contents in your hands were not gifts
From mighty Olympians but writhing in the
Box were anger, betrayal and revenge
Of Zeus upon Prometheus who gave fire
to the stealing denizens of earth.
Burdensome toil and sickness, plagues
and poisons to bring death and misery
To the human race escaped your box
When Epimitheus ignored his brother’s
Warning, accepted you for himself
And brought upon this earth all evils.
O Pandora, we mortals have borne
The burden of wars, plunder, slavery
Spanish Inquisition, pox and plague.
We have lied and cheated, depriving
Millions of children of food and water.
Now Corona is spreading like wildfire,
Casting us down like houseflies.
We are in lockdown and paralyzed
with fear, the money we hoarded
Will soon be worthless, our innate
Nature of greed will not leave us.
But if you see a ray of innocence
In the midst of our gloom,
Please open your box one
Last time and shake out the
Contents of your jar.
Clinging to the lip you might
Find something that could
Be a cure, our last “elpis.”
If Zeus “the Cloud Gatherer” wills it,
So be it, but don’t deprive us of this
Final sliver of hope. Perhaps another
Woman like you will invent a powerful
Vaccine that will heal ailing humanity.
And you, Pandora, will be forever
free of your curse.