Aphrodite at the Convenience Store

Stepping out of froth from crashing sea
Her severe beauty
Proclaimed by men Goddess of Love

Who compared mortal women to her lustre
Tied them to their lust, and unsustainable aspirations
To excuse male infidelities

Prostitutes sought her blessing
Her austere manner lending pride
to their profession dressed for anything but Love

When pandemic hit the Parthanon
All weddings and wars postponed
Aphrodite stepped off the mortals’ pedestal

Found lockdown-employment at a corner shop
Demands no heavier than Sunday shifts
Scanning groceries, weighing fruit and veg, filling shelves

In modest service, humble work
Paid hourly, minimal wage
"I nearly worked my arms off" she'd joke

Happy to clock in, take her turn, clock out
No offerings burnt to a crisp
Just multipacks of chips with wonky barcodes

Until twenty-four hour TV News with little left to report
Sought features on essential jobs
Found her through a researcher from down the street

Essential shopping stocking up toilet rolls
He was struck by the severe beauty and austere poise
Of the woman taking card-only payments at the till

Celebrated like Princess Diana re-incarnate on the networks
She instantly became Goddess of all Grocery stores
Selfies were demanded for Instagram, Tik-Tok, Pinterest, morning interviews

Store Manager checking the data found her too slow
Gave her a final pay-check and her cards
She found plenty of her old work at re-booked weddings and resumed wars

~

n.b. A bit of harmless fun, with NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Five prompt: a mythical being doing something a little more prosaic. Some are fated never to escape. Aphrodite: Goddess of love, beauty, war and the sea may have struggled to make ends meet in pandemic lockdown, when all her usual duties were placed on hold.

CLP 05/04/2022

16 Comments

  1. Romana Iorga says:

    I totally believe that goddesses wouldn’t fare well in today’s world…

    1. The whole goddess concept is less than helpful imo

      1. Romana Iorga says:

        Not surprised at all… Isn’t it strange that many women were brought up to expect abuse as part of their daily lives? Shameful.

      2. Often for their “failure” to be the goddesses that they are projected to be.

  2. Very clever 👍🖤

    1. Thank you. I am afraid the prompt was a challenge. Glad you were moved to comment…that means a lot. 🙏

      1. Well, it certainly doesn’t read as a challenge. I love the last verse especially 👍🖤

  3. I’m sure she’d have got sick of it soon enough anyway. Not that Mount Olympus can have been much fun either…

    1. I feel Aphrodite may have progressed through the business quite well, if at all interested. Immortals may have a different view of time!

      1. Scrolling down the comments to this prompt, I found it quite depressing how few people had ‘dared’ to put God in the imaginary beings category, and at least one of the few was praised for her courage! It’s a taboo subject for so many people, even those who call themselves poets.

      2. There is a huge range of mythical beings to draw on for this prompt, hence the variety, perhaps. I quite enjoy pantheist religions with the characters, contradictions and humour; their fictional origins happily accepted. It’s the monotheistic religions that prove so dull and un-relatable. However, have another listen to Highway 61. Makes me laugh, every time!

      3. Yes, I agree, there’s something utterly humourless about the monotheistic religions. They’re steam-rollers of anti-philosophy.
        I had to look up Highway 61. Never heard of it. I’m not a Dylan fan.

      4. He’s a god to some, obvs!

      5. Like Leonard Cohen. I don’t get him either, but he’s Mozart with words to some.

      6. Perhaps to some, perhaps

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