This letter encloses the stone that I stole
from the Theatre of Dionysus on a school trip
to help me with my O’ Level in Greek,
understanding the teenage rampage of Orestes,
the helplessness of Iphigenia in Taurus.
I was both the hapless brother and sister waiting
for a machine god to issue my parent’s decree nisi.
I got a B and my Mum and Dad got closure
to living sacrifices and the sieges around the house
as I lay with the stone ticking under my pillow
wondering why my religion had only one God
with a son who specialized in suffering
while ecstasy specialist Dionysus offered options.
For years the rock hid in an attic box with notes
on Eudaimonia from a thesis on Ethics.
I got a Beta while my god turned into Bacchus
which has always had its ups and downs.
The English are useless at returning marble
but this lump of Cretaceous limestone is a start.
Please replace it behind the throne of the priest
with apologies. Magic never travels like it should.
Commended in the 2021 Troubadour Poetry Prize