In Ithaca each night, the suitors sung her name
(and to/of her praises) though lewd and out-of-tune.
So seven-and-a-half-(some) years into The War,
it wasn’t just the women who hated her, but
the old men and the-no-longer-toddling children,
when they all began to pick and choose their
smooth stones, jagged rocks (and boulders)
to hurl at the still, pretty wife who’d, unlike
chaste Penelope, taken one of these “eligible” men
claiming to know the fate of her husband before
she’d had—and it was that Name held back
by (and underneath tongues)—with a loudness
(never uttered) which could not have made their
aim more true: Helen, no, Penelope, no, Helen.
Eric Pierzchala teaches Humanities, is a former professional baseball player, and teaches chess to children. Eric holds an MFA in poetry from Murray State University. His poems have recently appeared in: Plain Spoke, The 2018 Surrealist/Outsider Anthologie, Rue Scribe, Cathexis Northwest Press, The Stirling Spoon, and The International Anthology on Paradoxism.