Poems

Graeme Hetherington: ‘Artemis and Actaeon’

Artemis and Actaeon 1 I used to keep myself awake, Watch moonlight on my sister’s hair Turn bloody and run down her face Of pale angelic purity My mother wouldn’t let me touch, Or if my night-long vigil failed I’d wake from dreams in which she died And cross the bedroom floor to see If I had killed her in my sleep, Relieved if I could hear her breathe. 2 Divinely beautiful, bow-drawn, Praxitilean Artemis, Avenging goddess of the young And innocent, you ambushed me The evening I saw, decades on From boyhood’s crime of sister love, You smiling darkly…

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