when Leda was called to the lake,
no one stopped her.
maybe she was warned
to be cautious of the birds,
or maybe she was given a whistle 
more punchline than punch,
and taught to hold keys between her terrified fingers.

but it had to be more malicious than that.
i think she spent months there
i think she was convinced into comfort,
told to become as placid as the water
not flinch when the great wings beat and
not dodge the incoming blow: 
accept and muffle your dissent.
you are a woman. this is your lot.
commit to love him even when it hurts.

they call it a seduction
which is a cruel word for a fight.
regardless of warnings, of ineffectual weapons and instinct,
it’s not your fault –
it never has been – 
now Agamemnon is dead,
and Troy has burned,
and we will rip the feathers from every swan we meet.

About the contributor

Hana Meighan is a fledgling poet with one previous publication under her belt ('Trickle', The Paperclip, 2019). She is currently finishing her undergraduate English degree at Ulster University Coleraine, where she is Vice Chairperson of the English & Poetry Society. Her poetry is heavily influenced by her study of classic poetry, her Catholic upbringing, and her experiences with mental health resources.

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