To Pythia, It's Been 2,000 Years

by Stephanie Prchal



Today I laughed with my sister
When she told me it felt like winter
After we looked out the porch’s glass door
And saw a summer sky tousled by a rainy wind
And it was funny
Because I wondered if we were tied 
In more ways than one

Like swallows sensing oncoming storms
We feel something is wrong
We’re drinking, smoking
Comparing charts of stars and distant cold constellations
Eating our cake and wandering through quiet parks

Like those oracles
Our sisters from time immemorial 
Swimming through heady fatal fumes
Trying to find an answer

Because They’re all waiting

And my heart goes out to all my sisters
Because if we don’t light a 
Path with lanterns burning strong with fire
Or give a solution that will balm a dying 
Soldier suffering for so long 
That no one even remembers 
Who had cast the first stone

Then what good are we 

How will we soothe the roiling seas or 
Lead nations walking down war paths
Set by our forefathers ages ago 
Who cut deep clefts into the earth
Carting away her vapour and marrow
While asking us for hope 
Or even worse
Because our lives are in our own hands
But sometimes I think of Pythia in that tall temple
A youth plucked 
Among summer lilies from farmers’ homes

I wonder if she felt tied and tired too
If she and her sisters saw the fall of their gods
And themselves too
Clawing through that miasma to fresh air
But when the smoke cleared
What could we have expected
Except for a summer sun 
Usurped by a solstice sickness



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