Gris-Gris, an online journal of literature, culture & the arts

Iphigenia in Alabaster

by Judith Skillman

After the birds have pulled their share of grubs
from the ground, under a waxing moon,
it’s her beneath the apple trees. November
cold, snow waiting in the clouds. She’s been changed
again, this time to a sculpture resting
on front legs in the grass. The car lights touch
what is no longer fur. Her eyes unblinking
as ever. Expressionless, but watching
for danger. If she were done in marble
there would be no cure. She hasn’t horns
like the buck, the father of the two fawns,
now yearlings. Things will be getting worse.
The war, the feud between those two brothers.
Men are her enemy, their sacrifices.
Always the daughter caught in the middle.
Is this her solution, or the moon’s
requiem? Either way the cold will break
gypsum, as it expands, and ice chip away
at the soft stone of her curves and hollows.