The Dubose and Dorothy Heyward Society Prize
Winter 2010
Janet Joyner

Cassandra

What if you could have the gift
of prophecy,
the kind of foresight that
could save the known world,
or even just your own people,
from a terrible, long war
that will change
the balance of power
forever, in exchange
for just one little kiss?
Not anything big like your virginity,
just one little kiss.
You wouldn’t have to mean it.
And it’s not as though he’s ugly.
Being Greek and all.
But of course she was young
and idealistic
and only knew
what she knew.
Which was not
that the snakes had already
licked her ears.
And so she spat in his mouth.
©2010 Janet Joyner