In Defense of Artemis

by krstaten

The first I saw of Orion was his smile,
a stupid, crooked grin under winking
pinprick eyes. As a child, I saw him
smirking down at me, the first constellation
I learned by heart.
                                        I learned only later
that what a little girl saw as flirting eyes
and a playful smile
                                        were the points
at his shoulders and the glitter of his belt.
I learned he was a hunter prowling
for more than season’s game. I learned
the Pleiades had every right to their wrath,
that Artemis had every right to loose
her own arrow.
                              Maybe they, too,
first saw a grin mischievous and benign.
Maybe she, too, first lost her gaze
on a bowman’s arms, not knowing
what they meant.
                                        Later still I learned
a grin and a beltline to some men
            were all the same.