He comes home the hero
but there is no one to greet him.
The streets are empty except for unlit lampposts
and the blue balloons of illusions
with no string to hold them down, disappearing
or popping like expected accidents
on spears of wrought iron fences.
Down the promenade of salt no brassy trumpets strut saluting
the fife and tin soldier drums
in early summer’s tinsel: our winning memorial days.
Instead, a serpentine shadow
Floods past the intersections where honking cars
and gaily-colored pedestrians were supposed to be cheering.
Odysseus continues to walk on, alone.
His skin hangs rough and warty, like the toads:
and so he has become invisible;
Only the blind would call him beautiful now
or his wife, who has difficulty lifting herself from bed
Equally old as the rosy fingered dawn.