Elaine Briggs lives and works in France as a translator. Poems have received prizes in Segora and Hungry Hill competitions. A collection has been long-listed by Cinnamon.
A harp is a made thing,
the heartwood of Homer, an ode.
It’s a flightless wing
with speech in its keys
and strings taut and resonant
open for winds to frisk at sea.
It’s the prow of a boat
where Orpheus turned helmsman
set a rhythm
for oars to dip and rise
and the water that streamed from their blade
outsang the Sirens’ wolfish howl.
You stand alone, your frame
spindly as the African lyre you cradle.
Then, in Afghan headgear worn for a crown,
you swell – wind and breath
sing to me the Muse’s song
and the rage of Achilles is re-made.
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