There was nothing original in what she said —
for instance, All wars end in defeat for all.
They’d heard it before, and everyone agreed
she was totally wrong. So why did they lock her
away, pay someone to guard her? They dreamed
of smothering her, cutting out her tongue,
but somehow couldn’t. She was more beautiful
than Helen. They liked to think of her out there
inside that stone pyramid, surviving, dying …
Apollo had spat in her mouth when she refused him.
That should have taught her to keep that tongue
locked up. No, no one believed they believed her.
She, who knew her own end would be rape and murder,
told herself this cell was a haven. If only,
oh if only … A doorway of light shone at the centre
of her floor; dry leaves shuffled, whispered.
© Diane Fahey