The Three Fates

by Laurie Byro
The Waters
First Place, July 2021
Judged by Bruce McRae

after Dobson

Like a fool with a spool he begged for eternal life. My sister
had been spinning for days, winding and measuring the colors,

opting out of what was fashionable. My other twin threaded
him like a marionette, it was I who would make the final cut.

Just as he shattered into snowflakes, into the headlights
of a car, it was I who got busy deciding. Men are demanding,

do I grant him his final wish? I faltered. He returned to his walk,
snow rising to the sky, reentered his home, his grown children

becoming toddlers. His tears not yet fallen on his cheeks,
his cries of passion not yet given into the wild air. And

as the house emptied and the sky cleared, he was forced
to repeat the journey, over and over, like a thread on a spool

being untangled and rewound. For of the three of us sisters,
I was fated to be the most evil, the most spectacularly horrid.

I enjoyed this poem upon first reading it, and even moreso once I looked into the background story of these three sisters. Daughters of Nyx, each Fate was assigned a different task when apportioning out the lives of we mortals, the narrator, apparently, the sister who cut the cloth her sisters had produced. In a poetry world of vast selves, it's refreshing to see someone give a nod and wink towards anything resembling classicism, while remaining upbeat and still applying a modern sense of humour. --Bruce McRae