Pain tore through me,

Ripping my thoughts

and dreams

and hopes

Into shreds floating on the wind.

A spear sat heavy in my breast,

Weighing me down;

Down to the earth

Which embraced me like

A long lost child,

Down to death:

Cold and hard and unforgiving.

I wanted to cry out:

To tell them it didn't matter.

That no city, however great,

Was worth this pain.

I wanted to tell them

That the gods cared not

For our petty rivalries;

That pain was their only gift to us

In the end.

I remembered the slave girl

I had captured years ago

With wild black hair and

Eyes that lit in the night;

Full of passion,

And anger,

And hate.

I remembered my wife

Weaving on the big loom;

Stars and blood and spears

Forming under her skilled hands.

I remember the squall of a child,

Its mother killed in battle,

And the thrust of my spear

Which ended its cries.

I wept for life,

But there was no breath in me

To scream all that needed to be screamed,

No breath to apologize for my sins,

No breath left to curse my killer

Or avenge my death.

The world was black

And the pain was everywhere.

I could not escape.

I gasped one last time,

My blood flowing into the earth,

And the fates cut the thread of my life.

I was:

A soldier at Troy.

I was: