Athena, Goddess of Wisdom
By Victor Howes
I sprang from fatherís forehead, fully clothed
And fully armed. You may have seen the like
When a cocoon splits open and a moth
Pops out to spread its wings upon a spike
Of purple loosestrife or a milkweed pod.
I breezed through girlhood, a child prodigy.
Not a spoiled brat, though spared the chastening rod,
Praised for my brains, and folks said, fair to see.
I knew no mother, but with motherwit
I soaked up knowledge, and without a tutor
Invented numbers and the alphabet.
I never had the time to charm a suitor.
Who needs a husband? When I lie abed,
I write encyclopedias in my head.
From Thoughts after Spenser by Victor Howes. Cambridge: Harvard Book Store, 2016. Copyright © Victor Howes.