Looking upon us, my arm around your
tanned shoulder in the summer night,
I thought of Hector, pausing from the
doomed defence of Troy to visit
Andromache and Astyanax, high upon
the walls of the besieged city.
Before he would slay Patroclus then
be cut down in turn by Achilles.
Hector shimmered in bronze before
his wife and baby boy, knowing their
life together was over. Sensing
what lay ahead-- Hector’s death, sweet
Astyanax cast from the walls of Troy,
her own enslavement in Hyperia--
Andromache allowed herself a tear.
But Hector would not surrender.
“Andromache, why so much grief for me?
No man will hurl me down against my
fate... And fate? No man has ever escaped
it, neither brave man nor coward, I tell you--
it’s born with us the day we are born.”
Keep this poem-- when something
happens to me. Remember that I was brave
in the face of a destiny I could not avoid.
And content to place my arm about your
bare shoulder this night and look
without fear at the approaching Greeks.