Grendel’s Mother

Inseminated by the race of Cain,
mere-mother suckled a monster.
Her only son smothered into rage,
walker alone in the wetlands,
in the mead hall of Hrothgar drinking thanes.

She waited for him in the cold current
of the hell cave, rummaged the bone pile,
chewed marrow until he came,
matted her fur red with the gore of men.

They made a trophy of his arm in Heorot,
sang songs of glory. Their sounds enraged her.
She claimed back the hand that once held hers,
cradled it through the night until the cave stank.

Clawing her shriveled breasts, she searches
her reflection in the stagnant pool
for the face of Beowulf.