About Athena

She's a headache, father. 
You know it better than any.
And what about that bird she insists upon having?
It swoops down from the top of the chiffarobe
whenever I walk in carrying laundry. 

Oh, I talk to her.
She just gets out those everlasting scales and stands there
without saying a word.
The owl twists its neck and gapes too.
It's unnerving.

I went through her closet
--looking for drugs!--
and there, at the bottom of a tube of tennis balls,
I found a lightning bolt.
What do you suppose she's doing with that

Finally, I went through her dresser.
The owl started pacing on the chiff like a constable.
Athena walked in just as I found them--
"Will you be snooping...er, staying for lunch, Mother?"
--six dead rats laid all in a row
like a diamond necklace.

for Poets United Midweek Motif--Owls


Sherry Blue Sky said…
Only you can tell a tale like this. I love the pacing constable owl and shudder at the dead rats in the drawer. Love the snooping / staying for lunch question. I dont know how you keep doing this, but am so delighted that you do.
Sumana Roy said…
I like the owl activity all along from swooping down from 'the top of the chiffarobe' to neck twisting and gaping to pacing up like a constable; & also the snooping mother :)
annell4 said…
A delightful poem, I felt I was in the room!
Cloudia said…
No, growing up in a merely human family was not easy for me either, Shay!
Maude Lynn said…
Yes! I thought of you the minute I saw this prompt!
Vicki said…
You are a word sorceress, Shay. Loved this.
indybev said…
I was just following right along … until we got tot he six dead rats. Ewwwww! A rollicking read!
"The owl twist(s) its neck ..."

I would stay for dinner.

The parts about drugs and lightning are my faves. You are so good.
Brendan said…
Born of migraine, Athena's balance and wisdom has gotta have some drugs, some rats, a lightning bolt in the closet. Has to. She had no mother, no child, but who knows what her real bourne is. De owl do ...
Old Egg said…
It is always a delight to find someone has written a poem that is quite different that engages you, maybe tests you to but most importantly really delights, which this one has done beautifully.
grapeling said…
reminds me of the rat restaurants in Canton

except more skillfully flensed ~
Susan said…
I am also thinking of Athena's owl. Love this at-home scene, cracks me up! I am sure she used the lightening bolt to get the rodents.
hyperCRYPTICal said…
I just love this to bits! What an excellent tale of a dysfunctional family -well, maybe just a dysfunctional daughter.
But I love this daughter, admire that she lives outside the box. There is no fun in being normal!
Anna :o]
Margaret said…
...wonderfully created! Perhaps my 16 year old has a bit of a goddess in her as well - at least she has the attitude down! :)