by Beate Sigriddaughter

Among shamans they tell this
as a joke, that Orpheus was merely
one of them who went down
to the underworld and failed
to guide a vanished soul back into life,
probably dawdled, took notes on despair,
and disregarded all rules.
Now I too have gone for you,
though my poems are not nearly
as sweet as his songs, and the gods
we nowadays keep not nearly as obliging.
I have one advantage, though:
I am a woman, not a fool.
If they tell me the important thing is
not to look back, I do not look
back. You can make it alone through this
maze of spiritual hiding. I know
there are doubts. You may have
already forgotten all earthly things.
But earth is here, and life is
here. I can't look back now, my love,
oh my love, I don't know
where you are, woman, or who
anymore. I must take this on trust.
It is not easy. If you can live again
I will meet you where the sun is rising.