Featured Poem: O Pandora

 

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.

 

 

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