Pandora's Rebuttal


Annette Marie Hyder


Yes they told me not to.
Yes I was forewarned,
given, like an afterthought
to Epimethius.
No, not the one I wanted.

I brought him to me as often
as my feet brought me to that box
held him in my mind
as I held that box in hand --

yes it was small
and thus the god's touch
in fitting so much in it --

turning it over and over
stroking its smoothness
feeling beneath my hands
the oiled gloss of his skin.

Wasn't this box a gift for myself?
Were not its contents just for me?
Hadn't the gods given me everything --
beauty, charm, grace, intelligence --
everything but him?

Might there not be one last gift
inside of it for me, perhaps the secret
potion, veil or necklace to open his eyes
against his better judgment?

It is said that all of the things
within the box
flew out when I lifted the lid.
Not true.

True they swarmed,
true they crawled,
they slithered and hopped and fled.
But none flew
and now, like then, hope has wings to fly
but wont, will not, no, refuses.

And these wings that are never used
do not atrophy but over time
I have seen them,
once as oblique as a hidden smile,
strengthen, thicken, leather-wise --
bat wings now.

And I shudder,
fear its small scratching feet
entangling in my hair
the touch
of cold membranous wings
against my face.

If I do, in moments of despair
imagine giving myself to hope
it is that someday
I can be with Prometheus
if only as an eagle
that devours
not his liver
but his heart
over and over




Author Bio

Annette Marie Hyder is a freelance journalist, an author and a poet. She is the founder and curator of the international feminist project, "Facing Feminism: Feminists I Know." Her articles have appeared in print throughout the United States and internationally. Her most recent book is The Real Reason the Queen Hated Snow published by Twilight Times Books. She is currently happily at work on a novel of magical realism. Read her blog at and visit her website at

Other poems by Ms. Hyder
"Archtype Enablers"
"Day Longs for Night"
"Loki Confesses"
"Tears of the Moon"





"Pandora's Rebuttal" Copyright © 2001 Annette Marie Hyder. All rights reserved.
Originally published in Poems Niederngasse. Also published in Annette's collection The Real Reason the Queen Hated Snow. Re-printed by permission of the author.


This page last updated 06-25-12.


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