Near Where Icarus Flew
By Margaret Van Every
Thousands have made the promised hajj;
hundreds have been trampled and won’t come home.
Six million rams will have their throats slit
in remembrance of Isaac, whose throat was spared.
Others, remembering another, are nailing hands
and feet to crosses or whipping flesh to shreds.
At the fallen temple of Aphrodite
springtime stirs like a sensual woman
shedding sleep. Snows recede to the peaks,
leaf buds on poplars in the sacred grove
are greening. The same source bubbles up
where Aristotle and Alexander drank.
Hold your breath and listen. Sibyls whisper
that the wise may hear: She watches still.