Strange Bedfellows [01]: Penelope’s Truce With Odysseus

Penelope’s Truce with Odysseus

The past was still barking at you
when you came through the gate

Someone who saw the wound long ago
recognized the scar

hoped for you
the memory was healed.

You sailed three sheets to the wind
into every port you thought might be your destiny:


one-eyed insights and sirens
holding you custody.

So I took my time coming near you again
I needed to know Odysseus how you’ve changed

across all the years and whether you still recall
the secret of our chamber: did you ever guess

I’d use it as a test: It’s now a leafy canopy,
I need to know if you can remember yet,

not the dog, but your old olive tree,
and if you can love its tangled branches?

Our ‘Strange Bedfellows’ call for submissions is now closed — thank you to everyone who sent in poems. We have now notified all poets whose work has been selected — if you were unsuccessful on this occasion, please submit again when our next window of submissions opens at the end of July. Keep an eye on our Submissions page for more details.

Although the poem of the week slot is currently closed, we are accepting submissions for our other regular features: MONOGRAPH (a group of poems by a single author) and New Voices (poets aged 18-30 who have yet to publish a full collection).

Please read the full requirements on our Submissions page, before sending your work.

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