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Labours

What does it take
to be a hero?

Kill the lion and the snake
and wrestle with the deer
and take with you the spoils
to flout your lack of fear.

Bring back the boar alive,
clean the stables in a day,
and shoot down all the birds
’cause they’re getting in the way.

Bring back a bull this time
and some horses too.
And the girdle of the queen
after you make her fall for you.

Next the cattle of the sun
and the golden girls’ fruit.
Last the guard dog of the Underworld,
blacker than the devil’s soot.

Only to finally lose your life
to poison from your gullible wife.

Choices

The moment I saw you
I could not decide…

…if I wanted to seduce you
and spend the night moving to music,
swaying to song, and swilling swagger
for the custom of the courtship.

…if I wanted to buy you a drink,
whisper sweet nothings in your ear,
and flirt with you all evening
beneath intimate bar lights.

…if I wanted to tell you
all the things you made me feel,
hoping that my honesty
might move you to tears.

…if I wanted to tell you
all the things I wanted to do to you
and wait with a knowing grin
for your blooming blush.

…so I walked up, offered my hand,
and told you my name.

The vigil

I’ve been waiting
so very, very long.

I’ve waited in theaters
lamenting lime-lit lovers
and back-row teenagers making out –
ruining many-a-romance.

I’ve waited in restaurants
with couples crouched in conversation
over shared dishes and desserts
that have spoiled my appetite.

I’ve waited along the street
as I walked towards my destinations
observing dates in the dark
and intertwined fingers.

I’ve waited at home
watching fake people fake love
and offer promises
which I refuse to pay for.

I’ve waited ‘neath sheets,
so cold that they’re quite cruel,
and through nights spent reaching for you
only to find the edge of the bed.

I’ve been waiting for you –
what would you like to do?

The grace of gracelessness

It’s the way things aren’t mixing right
and powder spilled over the bowl…

It’s the way clumps stick to the spoon
and dirtying three while stirring…

It’s the way I blush wondering
if people would eat the cookies
if they saw me behind closed doors…

It’s wanting people to like them
and offer the high compliment
of a stolen second helping…

It’s the way baking reminds me
of so many clumsy first dates.