"On Accompanying My Mother to the Areian Festival of Asterion (at the Age of Nine)" by Edith Hamilton V
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“The minotaur was just a boy,”
He said, our guide to this event,
Six fingers pressed against the wall.
“Our nation never lies. It can’t.
“That’s what it means to be in love.”

We passed a group of worshipers.
Their limbs were splayed across the floor.
“Oh, do you see them?” mother asked,
her whisper joyful to its core.
“They’re feeling nothing but its love.”

The bones are not out on display.
They’re buried in the endless deep.
They do not wish him back alive,
But rather that he rest in sleep.
And that’s a different kind of love.

We stopped to pay our due regards
Where, they say, the boy was slain.
They lined the stone with bits of hay
and kernels of some unknown grain.
Foods, they say, that he would love.

My mother bought me a small stone
Persuaded by a Martian skink.
“Squeeze it tight and think your thoughts,”
He sold us tourists with a wink.
“The labyrinth will feel your love.”

That chunk of wall from ancient lore
Became my simple paperweight.
It holds down words and petty things,
Those sent to me from distant straits
By people I may grow to love.

Apparently I’m older now
Than he was when he breathed his last.
And so I hold tight that small rock
And let my thoughts move free and fast
To learn to give the kind of love
That he always deserved.

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