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Zeus Returns, Briefly by Eric Pinder


Zeus scowls down one summer Sunday afternoon at a town unconcerned with a grimace from the sky. He glowers. He glares. He strives to blanch the tame blue blush of pristine July. His frown intensifies. A single wet drop of Olympian spittle descends through contortions of cumuli. His grumble exacts no tribute save an idle upward glance and the half-hearted curtsy of my umbrella. Every other passerby ignores the once-lord of weather’s unheralded return. No one asks him for an alibi. The braised rage of the sun pierces a cloud in two places— his unblinking eyes. Blind to being so scrutinized, vacationers occupy beaches and benches, luxuriating in the leisure of their waning weekends while high above the trimmed green park, intermittent Frisbees fly. Only I spot Zeus observing the frolics of fearless apostates until the sharp breeze foretold on TV by pinstriped oracles with Hollywood smiles shears off his beard with such precipitous vigor and smothers his final, silent, harmless goodbye.




Eric Pinder is the author of Counting Dinos, If All the Animals Came Inside, How to Share with a Bear, and other books about animals and nature. He teaches in New Hampshire at a small college in the woods, a few miles down the road less traveled.

Cover: Amanda Bergloff Twitter @AmandaBergloff Instagram: amandabergloff

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