by Faye George
for Robert Graves
Unsure of her own nature, she cried out
to her father, the river, to save her
from the ardent god’s intent. Great as her fear
of the god’s raw pursuit, her own self-doubt.
slowed her step, dogged to the brink
where she must perish or yield—or,
barring the choice, alter herself.
The blood drained from her limbs where she stood,
pale as mist blown from the river’s mouth.
Her bruised feet, punished from the hard passage,
welcomed the cool smooth mud of the bank.
In and in, she sank until she felt
something rising in her like breath,
a voice softer than the purling river.
It knew her name. Lifting her head,
she found herself on her own ground now
before a baffled god, amazed at the shape
of his changed woman