Electra

I’m so glad
you killed her—
my doe-eyed sister
who could not read or dance or carry a worthwhile conversation,
who had no might despite her name
but powered a thousand ships with her blood.
Before this I felt nothing for you—
runaway father, warmonger father,
one of thousands of such fathers,
until you deemed my sister worthy of winds and sea
and rid me of her.
You became heroic father, beloved father.

I owed you a life.
For that I must repay you.
So when Mother killed you
(always loved Iphigenia, did she)
and sent off my weak-willed brother,
I promised I would be your daughter
for the first and final time.

The hand behind Orestes’ sword
was never Apollo’s but
mine.
Sophocles and Euripides and Aeschylus could write of my love, my justice,
my revenge
but I had nothing to avenge.
Electra, simply,
pays her debts.

© 2020 by Y.M. Pang

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