hera_argus
ARGUS SLEEPS
by Ellen Webre

Beneath the olives is a man full of holes
leaking dark looks and staining the grass.
I tried to plug them with wool:
a hundred sleeping eyes gouged out
for a bird’s fanning tail.
She was crying when she did it,
scooping the blue blindness
of her dearest friend
into a bowl of green feathers.

Boredom slacks rigor mortis
but the Queen of the Gods held
what she could of him in her lap anyhow.
Hera poured curses into the hand and
hoof prints encircling a roped
circumference leading to
where a crazed virgin girl-cow
screams in her blanket of gadflies,
kicking up dust all the way to Egypt.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This was inspired by a dream I had about a boy full of holes. I’d always wondered about Hera and Argus’s friendship, and have imagined how she coped with his murder.

IMAGE: “Hera Appearing to Io and Argus” (North Italian School, c. 1700-1725).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ellen Webre is a Southern California poet whose imagination and love of folktales grew from being raised as an only child with a voracious imagination and a lot of time to read. She started writing seriously thanks to the Orange County High School of the Arts, and has continued to do so at university. She is a regular at the Ugly Mug poetry readings and has featured there and at the Coffee Cartel.