The Logos of Helen
Some say that my father was not my father,
that such beauty could only come from the gods,
and that I was delivered from a glorious egg,
For my father had taken the form of a swan.
before ravaging my mother with his lusts.
And when men came seeking divine wives,
I was chosen, and taken from my home,
and only the actions of my brothers prevented disaster.
I was not to risk such disgrace again,
I was warned. I was to sit, and dutifully perform
the woman's role in our city. My only services to
be confined within the chambers, and the greeting,
My sole task to bear the heirs and armor of my husband.
So when a handsome stranger spoke words of kindness
and spoke of a city where a woman could be free of such bonds
where my child could take up the spear herself
and stand tall against the cruel world that threatened,
my heart leapt, and my feet followed. He made promises,
a cascade of them, causing each breath to leap with the longing
and my thoughts of my future to shine brightly within
He swore that he would carry off my daughter as soon
as he had secured me safely. And when I found myself
at the promised door, he smiled and thanked me
for such stunning diversion, such excellent polishing of his spear.
And he left me in place. To bear his heirs and armor.
I went to the ramparts, and thought to find my fate.
But the gods were cruel, and put the light of hope into me again
for the touch of fair Andromache again brought my heart lightness.
And for years, I lived. Within a cage, but a life all the same.
My abductor reveled in my captivity, crowing how he had netted
the most beautiful swan. And as he did I said nothing,
for he barely knew my name. He did not care for me, or mine.
Men killed for me. Men bled for me. And so their pain is mine,
for it is in my name their courageous blood was shed.
My wounds broke open inside, as my Hector died upon the field.
His last looks to me and Andromache, his hope for our love.
I do not know what awaits me now. I know only that
many stood on the field for my hand, but only one stood on the field
and knew me. And they asked not for my hand, but only my love,
and I gave it gladly, for that was the only gift I could offer.