Pandora

Because nothing ever happens
if you leave things closed,
there was a woman
who opened a box.
The box was covered in locks,
stickers declaring danger,
and bright yellow warning tape
wrapped around the sides.

So she scraped away the warnings—
and with little bits of glue
sticking to her nails,
she pulled a silver pin from her hair
to pick each and every lock.
Stuffed inside she found the shining
things the gods had hidden away.

Out they flew,
not the evil crawling things,
but joy upon joy—
fluttering about her
like bits of colored paper,
until they flitted out,
even the highest windows,
to make their way in the world.

When the gods saw what her gift had done
they sent the men with sticks and knives,
to gather the joys all back.
But their fingers grasped on empty air,
and they had to settle just for her.

She was dancing when they took her,
with the last bit of joy that was left—
one tiny piece of hope,
floating about her head.