Winner of the 2007 Spoon River Poetry Review Editors' Prize
The Rape of Chryssipus
''She came home bone by bone. First her shin bone, then her skull. In the end, 26 of Molly's bones came home to us."
― Mother of 16-year old Molly Bish, whose remains were found 3 years after she was abducted and murdered in June 2000.
For the rape of Chryssipus, King Laius suffered.
The gods saw what he took -- a young boy's chance
to play in the Nemean Games, to make his offerings
to Zeus, to win his wreath of wild celery leaves, advance
the Greek way: piety, honor, and strength. He raided
their vast heaven, not just a small boy's frame. Their justice
was what Laius came to dread: a son that would take
his mother to bed, a champion of the gods, an Oedipus.
We called on the same gods on your behalf, asked
for their twisted best: disease like a Chimera to eat
your Laius piece by piece; a Harpie who might wrap
her tongue around his neck and play his game of breathing
and not-breathing that he made you play; Medusa's curse in stone;
and a Golden Ram to put you back together bone by bone.