Characters

My Dinner with Athena*

She enters in gossamer white, aqua shawl
A huge golden pendant resembling an owl

She lays down her sword, puts it under the table
tosses her ringlets, fingers her sable

I start with some questions, she stops to confer
Can our waiter bring sea bass with olives for her?

He nods yes of course, his voice very low
Says our wine is divine; we should try Orvieto

Interrupted by flagrant toasts to her gardens,
And then by her boasts of sculptures, tall fountains

I start to forget why I wanted a mentor
She blithely neglected the reason we met here

So, I have to endure long tales of her party,
which she held in plein air, right next to the priory

Barbequed lamb, golden flames burning brightly
Her fans all brought gifts; they know she’s quite arty

She relished the game of putting that guy down—
the one with the cloak, his sharp trident upturned

They both were aware of their upcoming skirmish
Wily and fearless, she knew she would vanquish

I stop her mid-story, as I scream, “Please Athena!”
I need you to focus! Pay attention to me.

Tell me how did we get here? Pray, what do you know?
She takes a small sip; hazel eyes start to glow—

Then she chants: Life is dangerous, thrilling and glorious
Work hard in your fields, don’t make it laborious

Spin marvelous magic, be tough and ambitious
Keep reading, keep reading, be slyly capricious

Help all of your babies, give parties for friends
Do magnificent deeds!

And that was the end.

She never explained the way we all got here
She was late for a séance, and readied to go

Floated up to the spot where her entourage waited
Climbed into the carriage and wrote on a scroll

I think she recorded a thought from our meeting
Silver ink— perhaps it was something I said?

She waved from her chariot, looking resplendent,
and murmured a blessing that I found transcendent:

May the gods be with you!

*First published by Tiferet Journal, http://www.tiferetjournal.com