Clytemnestra by Louise Crossley

Clytemnestra

Doe-eyed for shining Achilles,
my innocent went gladly to Aulis.
Willing even when she knew
the price for a fair wind
was murder disguised as a wedding.
So the singers of tales might name Mycenae
“the place that launched a thousand ships”,
and her father the captain at its helm,
his lies masked with responsibility
to Argos and the gathered fleet,
she stretched her neck.

The Fates have twisted women into tokens
to be taken in war or lust, given in marriage
or politicking. But she who makes a king
can break a king: bring him down
to splintered bone, pooling blood,
sightless eyes as well as any battle foe.
And this man, with his obsession
to be an heroic warrior as he raged
against his fellows, thought nothing
of the rage of women consigned
to the edges of life; to the beginnings
and ends, to wash and bind,
to render fit for life and afterlife …

I have rendered him fit for neither.


Louise Crossley is Admin for both Poetry Swindon Festival and The Interpreter’s House magazine poetry competition.  She has been published on Amaryllis, The Stare’s Nest, and Peony Moon poetry blogs and in The Interpreter’s House and Prole magazines.  She is a complete nerd about all things related to the Trojan War.  She lives in the Cotswolds with a cat, two chickens and a bit of an attitude.

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