Friday, May 30, 2014

Warning Signals

Do not trust the horse, Trojans! Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks, even bringing gifts.
~Virgil, The Aeneid



Trojan Horse in front of the Schliemann Museum, Ankershagen
photo by Christof Bobzin

Wooden Horse
by Tabatha Yeatts

When the last plank
was placed,
they couldn't wait
to clamber inside.

No horse;
I was a dragon, waking,
mute but deadly,
with rumblings of
fire in my belly.

I imagined giving
warning signals;
The most I could do
was creak ominously,

bend beneath
the warriors' feet
with a groan
that might have made
a child shiver,

clutch a hand for comfort,
hide their favorite toy away
in the safest place they knew.

But no one heard me,
moaning beyond the gates,

no one heard me
on their final night
of gentle dreams.

********

Visit Diane at Random Noodling for the Poetry Friday round-up.

10 comments:

LInda Baie said...

I love seeing the picture, too, Tabatha. This is such imagination, what it must have been like, to inside. And all that creaking! Surely someone heard, but didn't know what it was? I like "hide their favorite toy away. . .".

Diane Mayr said...

"Mute but deadly." How scary is that? You did a great job here--I can feel it--I'm in it.

jama said...

Yes, I like "mute but deadly" too and the "rumblings of fire in my belly." Captivating poem!

Karin Fisher-Golton said...

Wow, that's a powerful poem, and the imposing angle of the photo goes right along with it. The contrast in "on their final night/of gentle dreams" is poignant.

Author Amok said...

I love shifting the focus of this story to the horse itself. Great persona poem, Tabatha. Those last lines are ominous.

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

You, my dear, have a talent for writing poems from the inside out! Although the two mask poems are quite different in voice, I'm reminded of your poem, Gepetto in the Whale, which also took place within a cavernous space. Both are eerie, yet powerful, and have endings to die for... literally.

Tricia said...

I'm so glad you shared the picture with your poem. It put me right in there with your words. I love the lines "No horse/I was a dragon waking."
This is a wonderful poem.

Thanks for stopping by my place today and bringing me a bit of cheer.

Mary Lee said...

How fun to take such a familiar story and make it new with a different perspective!

Tara Smith said...

Oooh...you've caught the mood perfectly, Tabatha.

Pop said...


I, too, love changing the perspective to the "dragon" itself.

Great poem, Tab.