Sustenance. Punishment.
At a museum lecture, the statue of Ugolino from Dante’s Inferno
sweating beads of marble, surrounded by sons
in various stages of age 4 – 14.
Condemned by angry gods to eat his young, and they go
willingly…the dark myths no one wants to talk about.

A college professor with a brain so bounteous
it made his plain face handsome,
telling of Medea, who ate her children in revenge
against the husband. “You should write about that myth, Andrea,”
he said to me on the eve of his wife’s childbearing,
and I would have run away with him in that second if he’d asked me
as I wondered at procreation’s martyrs –
who devours whom, as embryos steal
their mother’s fingernails, as parents feed off their young
in eternal sacrifices of love & redemption.

– Andrea Grant