Illium: poem

by The Cheesesellers Wife

Illium

Upon the ancient plain the army sits in perpetual siege
Waiting for Achilles to unsulk
To leave his tent and re-enter the fray
What goes through their minds?
Those who have forsaken lives and families
To spend years on this foreign beachfront
Waiting for final bloody action
What of those who look down from the city walls?
Watching the byplay
The dramas of those who
Have come to slaughter or enslave them
What of Helen?
So much older now
Than when those thousand ships were launched
Does she look at her face in the mirror
Bronze is more flattering than our glass
Can she still see the beauty that brought her to this pass?
Is that defeat in her eyes?

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

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