The Broken Promise: Orpheus and Eurydice
by Mary Kendall

If only he had kept his promise, she’d be there.
All it took was one glance, a quick turn,
a meeting of the eyes and then she vanished.

How long did he stand there staring at where she had been?
When did he realize that she was lost to him forever?

How sad the stars were that night,
tumbling through the black sky
in mournful arcs;
even the moon turned its face away.

As he lead her out toward the ledge,
did she gasp at her unsure footing?
She with her snake-born limp,
trying hard to keep pace through dark tunnels
winding up to the craggy precipice?
Was this what tempted him to look?

His glance came so naturally,
that of the husband who worried
his wife might stumble and fall.
His trust in her never wavered and yet
he looked back just that once.
That’s all it took.

That night the heavens froze for a minute,
the music of the planets and stars
coming to a halt: no sound, no movement
before they heard his cry.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem will appear in my upcoming chapbook, Erasing the Doubt, which will be published on February 28, 2015 by Finishing Line Press.

IMAGE: “Orpheus Returns from the Pursuit of Eurydice” by Henri Martin (1860-1943).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mary Kendall has a chapbook, Erasing the Doubt, coming out on February 28, 2015 by Finishing Line Press. This poem is one of the selections. Mary is also author of A Giving Garden (2009). She is delighted to find the many excellent poets here on wordpress, and her blog is: A Poet in Time found at: apoetintime.com. She is a retired teacher and using her retirement years to indulge in a good deal of reading and writing. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.