FLASHBACK: For Elpinike and Athenais

I have never been very good at talking about

what girls talk about, unless in fact other girls

talk about god, and gods, and sex. Make-up?

hairstyles? the latest gowns? I would be

at a loss. But I am no longer a girl; even

my daughter is no longer a girl, but grown

and married. So as a mother, as a woman

once married, as a girl grown to womanhood

if at times uncertain I am really an adult,

I look back across the centuries at Elpinike

and Athenais, daughters of Herodes Attikos,

and remember that they did not grow up,

get married, have children, put away childish

things, but died young, unripe, in first blossom,

and might have been forgotten, except

that their father and mother loved them.

(Originally published on Antinous for Everybody)


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