How brilliantly the warrior smiled in silence
his eyes rested upon the child! Andromache
rested against him, shook away a tear (Homer: Illiad)
A brief embrace before
he returns to battle,
my breast against his breastplate,
his arms around me and
our small son.
The pictures appear out of nowhere:
a body tied to a chariot, dragged through the dust,
a small boy flung from the highest rampart of the city wall,
a mighty warrior at an altar bludgeoning an old man to death,
women herded together, reviewed, parcelled out to triumphant warlords,
a rocky sea shore I do not know.
I blink back the images
and watch the tear
fall on his gauntlet.
He puts down the child,
picks up his helmet
and is gone.
© Franz Andres Morrissey 2003