Odysseus Returns by Timothy Kercher

Odysseus Returns
It’s not so much that
people don’t recognize him,
it’s that he feels the beggar
on his own island; as for
Penelope, what are either
to each but reminders
of wasted years? Telemachus,
better off plowed and planted
by a crazy man then
to grow up soaked in the blood
of suitors, the peacetime
greed reeking of an absence
from Troy. The people older, Argo
barking then dying when
all Odysseus wants is a welcoming
lick; instead, he has to stay
hidden, to walk the streets where
nothing changes except
himself, a quiet island
superimposed on the battlefield
of his mind, making body piles
out of trash heaps, to see
each parked car on the roadside
as war-wrecked. What other option
but to make his own home
a killing floor? The line
of his weapons is what he knows,
firing shots at a life
he no longer comprehends.