"Leda's Sister and the Geese"--Katharyn Howd Machan
All the boys always wanted her, do
it was no surprise about the swan--
man, god, whatever he was. That day
I was stuck at home, as usual, while
she got to moon around the lake
supposedly picking lilies for dye. Think I
would have let some pair of wings catch me,
bury me under the weight of the sky?
She came home whimpering, whined out
the whole story, said she was "sore afraid"
she'd got pregnant. Hunh. "Sore"
I'll bet, the size she describe, and
pregnant figures: no guess who'll get
to help her with that kid, or Hera forbid,
more than one (twins run in our damned
family). "Never you mind, dear," Mother said.
"Your sister will take on your chores."
Sure. As though I wasn't already doing
twice as many of my own. So now
I clean, I spin, I weave, I bake,
fling crusts to feed the birds I wish
to Hades every day; while she sits smug
in a wicker chair, and eats sweetmeats,
and combs and combs that ratty golden hair.