Honourable Mention, Traveller’s Guide to Thebes

by Sara MacDonald

Traveller’s Guide to Thebes

To go to Thebes 
you’ll need a map.
Look in your imagination 
for the memory 
you’ve traced and encased.
Note the Dionysian lines of its borders,
both erratic and static,  
drawn by a drunk mathematician.
People are commonly confused 
at the crossroads, 
three roads diverge, then swerve, 
and only finally converge, 
kind of like fate.
Mind the chorus,
a pack of mangy strays, 
they’ll follow you forever.
At end, their song sings sense. 
You’ll wear weary of listening. 
Mind the chorus.
Everyone expects heat;
Hades is just down the road.
(A little tourism humour).
But the mountain’s mass 
casts long shadows.
At dawn, climb Citharon, 
search for Oedipus there.
A particularly raucous Bacchus, 
his frenzy favours family.
Yes, I can see the resemblance.
A distant cousin, 
some centuries removed?
An oracle? I wouldn’t say, 
only take care of what you ask.
You’ll be responsible for the answer.
What does that mean?
You’ll figure it out. 


Sara MacDonald is a professor of Political Philosophy and Global Great Books at Huron University. A new poet, her work has been long listed for the International Poetry Contest at River Styx.

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