By Jastrow [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

370=360 BCE, red figure krater, Hektor, Andromache, Astynax

They threw him from our topless tower
he burned in flight like Icarus.
That sight was burned upon my eyes
I wept for him with tears of fire
my child they feared, a hero’s son
borne on a shield who would not live
to bear his own. A warrior’s death;
they smashed his head on our strong stones
we watched and waited, spoils of war.

I, wife of Hektor, weep for you
with ice cold tears before the boats.
Slayers of children, victors, lost
ere you began. We all lose here
as in this end begins again
the victors’ squabbles over girls.

How dare I speak? I live too long
my master now the monster’s son,
who killed my son. A queen turned slave,
I long for death. This is not grief.
My husband died, men do in war.
My city fell, this happens, too.
I wept for these with human tears.

Now in the stone I call my heart
I store my tears of burning fire
and burning ice till it shall crack.
One shred of comfort in this wreck
of everything: quite all is lost
so I need care for nothing now
but memories untouchable.

Spring 1996, Lancaster