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Known to the Greeks as Oddeseus.


The Return of Odysseus

by George Bilgere


When Odysseus finally does get home

he is understandably upset about the suitors,

who have been mooching off his wife for twenty years,

drinking his wine, eating his mutton, etc.


In a similar situation today he would seek legal counsel.

But those were different times. With the help

of his son Telemachus he slaughters roughly

one hundred and ten suitors

and quite a number of young ladies,

although in view of their behavior

I use the term loosely. Rivers of blood

course across the palace floor.


I too have come home in a bad mood.

Yesterday, for instance, after the department meeting,

when I ended up losing my choice parking spot

behind the library to the new provost.


I slammed the door. I threw down my book bag

in this particular way I have perfected over the years

that lets my wife understand

the contempt I have for my enemies,

which is prodigious. And then with great skill

she built a gin and tonic

that would have pleased the very gods,

and with epic patience she listened

as I told her of my wrath, and of what I intended to do

to so-and-so, and also to what's-his-name.


And then there was another gin and tonic

and presently my wrath abated and was forgotten,

and peace came to reign once more

in the great halls and courtyards of my house.


"The Return of Odysseus" by George Bilgere. Reprinted with permission of the author.

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