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Defeated

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I stand utterly defeated. What else must I endure?
Oh, gods! Why torment me thus?
Ever have I been faithful; always honored you.
I held my husband,
my dear Hector,
above all.
Never did my eyes wander,
never did I long for another's embrace.
We found pure love that so few find.
Through that love, we conceived a son,
the heir to the throne of Troy-
this beautiful child with
his father's deep and tender eyes
who clings to my dress in fear.

Our country is sacked by war.
Our men rot in the streets.
Our beautiful city is now an inferno.

Wailing women
remind me I share in there sorrows,
beyond that of our fallen city.
We are now widowed sisters of war.

I stood by,
helpless on the high city wall,
as the sweet skin of Hector's neck,
which I had kissed in passion
but the night before,
was pillaged by a Greek spear;
Hector's chest,
my resting place and sanctuary
run through by an Achaean sword.
His dying cry has become
the drumbeat of my nightmares.

Achilles...
that monster...
I shall never forgive him!

Every time I close my eyes
his golden sword drips rubies
and my Hector's body is
again dragged though the sands of the plain
by rope stitched through his flesh.

Achilles' trophy.

Our hero.

My world.

Now...
whispers of a horror
yet to come.
My son,
my fragment of Hector, is in danger.
The Greeks are weeding our the royal house-
brave Priam, love-blinded Paris, innocent Polyxena;
meeting their fate upon a Greek blade.
With my son, the royal blood dries up.

I remember now
a moment at Astyanax's birth:
the royal palace in celebration,
but Cassandra white
as the marble wall she leaned upon,
eyes fixed in horror upon my newborn son.

What did she see?

Insane though she is, the horror she once prophesied
is upon us.
I cannot thrust this thought from my mind:
Was that brutal image in her mind's eye
also a moment of precognition?

I pick up my boy
and cradle his head to my breast
as a soldier in Greek armor
part the sea of sobbing women,
calling for "The wife of brave Hector".