An arts magazine at the University of Pennsylvania
Entourage | The First Goddess
The First Goddess
She wondered why she was the one
who had to give an offering.
All day, she poured out for her worshippers,
and at night she begged in whispers
to stop, but none of those who came
to the shrine asked her what she wanted.
Did she long to raise her broken hands
to the sky? Did she dream of resting
by the heat of the fire or warmth of a lover—
gentle curves and soft kisses her people
would have called blasphemy?
Can a goddess be a pagan?
She wanted to tell them to be heretics,
to stop asking for blessings and shatter
her on the rocks instead and let her sleep.
She wondered why they gave her gifts
she could not touch; bread and meat
they should have fed their children,
choices they should have handed
no one but themselves.
If she was human, she thought, she would
have worshipped the children instead,
the children with the rosy faces
and small voices that made the world
grow larger with each question.
If the gods had granted her one favour,
she would have told her people that
the sacrifice she never demanded
was their freedom.