The Sons of Atreus Returned
We had been sitting at our places,
at our own chairs, at our own tables, and suddenly
there they were:
the sons of Atreus, returned.
The tables should have been too small
for men like that,
but there were places here among us
where one or both of them could have
set down that chair
long held in reserve for when the man
returned from far away.
Some time ago, these had been left and lost
out back, behind the stairs.
We felt a vague unease to know the sons of Atreus
had nothing of their own
to sit on.
No-one had anything to say
as they stood by the inner door, shifting
the weight of their bags
from hand to hand
clattering in their tarnished
No-one would begrudge them
a quiet place to sit, a drink or two, the problem
being who to be the first to open up
a place for the sons of Atreus, returned
so late, from a land so far remote
from all of us.
And then the sons of Atreus returned
for want of any welcome here
among the tentative and living
to being plaster faces
mute and dusty on the wall.
We sat there at our places, and a vague unease
told not of having flubbed
interrogation of the shades
but disclosed a greater fear of nothing
being there at all.