Surprising the Gods
Suppose Eurydice had, running through the evening field,
stepped on the adder as planned, but it was the adder
that died, Eurydice’s heel coming down on its upper vertebra
and snapping it at once. Imagine her stooping down,
staring in wonder as the serpent twitches in small throes.
What would the gods do with that? How would they rewrite
the story that must be told? And would they question themselves
as they recovered from their surprise, as they made her
in some other way the impossibility she became
the moment her beauty first made Orpheus sing?
Originally appeared in Cave Wall
Fall 2008 Table of Contents