Achilles at Rest by Bryan Narendorf


 

Achilles sings The Seven
Wallbroken at Thebes

 
 
 
and a ditch’s mudslick
that’d need a god’s love
 
 
 
mortaring phrase into line
indifferent to everything
 
 
 
a farmer, his hired hands,
and a borrowed mule spend

 
salting the Greek hurt
with a strongwall song
 
 
 
to hold Hector off
longer than it took
 
 
 
but the hurt currenting his great
heart singing another’s
 
 
 
all season working to roll
into a hedgerow and forget.

 
 
while they sleep behind
wrist-thin pickets
 
 
 
to build. It’s a father song,
a failing song. He sings
 
 
 
song, himself unsung,
idle, as a tremendous stone
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Bryan Narendorf lives in Philadelphia, PA. Recent work appears or is forthcoming in Crazyhorse, Day One, Bird’s Thumb, and elsewhere.