Hector, prince of the walled city,
lover of loyalty, prized invincible,
devoted, never set adrift by lust or changing distractions.
Hater of war Hector
Warrior Hector, protector
of a worthy ideal, a harvest of fulfilment,
wealth for all, raining down from your native desert sky.
Husband on a private balcony, holding time still
for declarations of love as the flooding enemy-army neared,
gathering its hero-giants and enraged half-gods,
sealed in indestructible armour.
Hector, son of Queen Hecuba and King Priam, brother
to reckless sweat-hearted Paris.
Father of an infant babe, Hector,
who feared death like every other, ran and was chased,
then finally stood alone, willingly, facing his murderer,
knowing the result like knowing the lunatic gods, how
they etch out each mortal’s destiny
on the inkpad of their erratic whims.
Never marked or bruised, your corpse above ground
for eleven days, still fresh as when your soul first departed.
Your father begged to bury you, winning this small mercy,
you were buried, sacred rites restored.
You were mourned for your perfect beauty,
(their defender lost, their defeat inevitable).
You were loved for your strength,
the kind derived from clear-cut purity,
a rare internal moral code.
Glorified, the tale of Hector,
outlasting countless other heroes.
Hector of the soft dark hair, golden helmet, shining.
Copyright © 2020 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Our Poetry Archive” October 2020
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