The Grief of Atalanta
(For Kris N.)
By Diane Elayne Dees

Daughter of hunters,
Atalanta knows survival.
Daughter of bears,
Atalanta knows hibernation.
Daughter of man and woman,
Atalanta knows expectations.
Sister of many,
Atlanta knows abandonment.

Born to run, raised to fight,
Atalanta longs for winter,
a time to flee the race, the hunt,
even the golden apples.
She must make her own winter,
find her own cave, even in
the middle of the race.

The warrior always feels alone,
for those for whom she fights
stay far behind, not aware
that there is a war, much less
that they are losing it.

Diane Elayne Dees’s poetry has been published in many journals and anthologies. Diane lives in Louisiana. She publishes Women Who Serve, a blog about women’s professional tennis.