Glass Poetry Press

Volume One Issue Three

Peter D. Goodwin

A Poem Written While Watching Children Study Art In A Museum Instead Of Playing Outside

She sat the children in front of a wonderful marble frieze of a parade during a Bacchus Festival, telling them not to touch, not to annoy the guards, and not to fidget, asking the children what do they see, hinting to the children what it is that they are seeing. A parade. Yes. Animals. yes. And what animals are they? A horse. Yes. A giraffe. Actually it is not a giraffe but a camel, see the hump. And those two animals, which should be black not white, what are they? Panthers. So she points out all the animals in this parade, holding kids' shoulders, touching their hands, instructing them, ensuring that they do not fidget. But still they fidget. Never telling them about Bacchus, the God of wine, enthusiasm and excess never telling them about King Pentheus, who did not believe in Bacchus or in religious enthusiasm, and tried to stop the Bacchus rites, and his Mother who, in her excitement did not recognize her son, the king, and stuck a spear in his belly, his Aunts tore off his limbs, his Mother, yes his Mother, tore off his head, and they ate his body parts, what a feast they had. Now that is a tale that would have stopped the fidgeting. Instead a boy asks, When do we eat?