by flammeusgladius




You trained on giants.  Cousins were a breeze.
Even the Minotaur, when you two met,
Was nothing special.  What you did with ease,
Of course you did without acute regret.
In you, youth flowed – and confidence.  And yet,
The gods had moral challenges in store.
In the long run, I think, you lost that bet.
In the long run, who triumphs on that score?
In grown men’s hearts, thoughts wage unholy war.
If ever Epictetus got away
From that unconquerable minotaur,
He himself was a god in his brief day.
“I should have” — that’s the most unnerving phrase.
The Labyrinth?  A simple, trifling maze.



–Tom Riley



(First appeared in Trinacria, No. 16, Fall 2016.)