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by Rhyssa
Rated: 13+ · Poetry · Contest Entry · #2070739
once, a hunter caught sight of Artemis bathing, and was turned to as stag
I wonder how they felt,
those hunting hounds
who fell upon the stag
as their master trained them to
from puppyhood
as he had their doggie ancestors before them,
shouting them on
as they tore apart rags
as they howled as they caught the scent
of some new prey—
then scratching their ears
and praising their fierce focus
and calling them good dogs
and letting them lick him
all over his face.

I wonder how they felt
as they chased the stag
(a white stag out of myth,
so appropriate for a questing prince)
through the woods,
as their master commanded.
a milk white beast that moved more
clumsily than they were accustomed
with antlers that spanned the gaps
between the trees,
that caught its hide on thorns,
uncertain of its way
so that the white hide was stained red
and dripped a stronger spore—
until suddenly they caught up,
in a clearing where it could
no longer run.

I wonder how they felt
as the goddess’
magic slipped away
and their master lay before them,
his blood between their teeth,
his eyes clouding and dim
with only breath enough
to whisper his tale
to be passed among the elders
and youth of Greece,
so that the next man lost
within the wood
would close his eyes at the sound
of nymphs bathing
for the goddess is cruel
and jealous of her privacy.

I hope he had breath enough
to forgive them,
to praise his good dogs
who hadn’t meant it,
and now would howl their
sorrow at their master’s grave.

line count: 54

Prompt for: Jan 4, 2016
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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2070739