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.


Judge's Review

Copyright © 2007 M. B. McLatchey All rights reserved.
Winner of the 2007 Spoon River Poetry Review Editors' Prize.
Published in
The Spoon River Poetry Review, Summer/Fall 2007.
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.
Winner of the 2007 Spoon River Poetry
Review Editors' Prize