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PENELOPE'S LETTER TO ULYSSES / Susan Schultz Having been so long a part of myth, You forget to think of yourself apart From the necessities of scene, image Or story, biding time along the coast And in caves, aUowing your men to be Changed—pigs, apes, dogs, the shapes become Them even when, as during rain, a fire Casts but partial silhouettes against the waU, And the sum of gesturing arms and flailing Legs is less than the story can redeem. As for me, Tm written in as the Forgotten, though never lost, weaver Of the fates of fools who gather around To teU me stories that have no histories, Just hope, and that I cannot stand. Like strains on the ruff of a wave, these Memories are not mine; they're stories I teU to make time pass, or make it stop Before it ends. I know that recognition Depends not on scars, nor even voices, But on lessons that cannot be learned By gathering wool, even the wool of suns Beyond our sun. Years back we vowed that Death would not part us as Ufe so surely has, But as my fingers tease out a story that Banishes hope, I know this night I won't Undo its sum of threads, my long tapestry. 126 · The Missouri Review ...


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