You Won’t Find Him in the Iliad

by Claire Scott

The boy decided to stay
                  in the belly of the horse
said someone needed to keep watch
                  his teeth chattering, his face milk white
                  he looked less than fifteen
thin, pale, a faint scribble of a mustache
                   legs that faltered when he stood
the soldiers left him there
                  grabbed their paper swords
                  eager to be immortalized in Homer’s epic
child soldiers playing in the sandbox of Troy
                  only this was real, the boy knew

he dreamt of clashing swords, curdled screams
                  cries of mother! mother!
                  mouths shaped in O’s of horror

the boy took a merchant ship back to Ithaca
                  a boat carrying olives and spice
                  no hankering for Cyclops or Circe
home ten years before Odysseus
                  staggered home in rags

the boy-man hoes rows of beans, of corn
                  his horses graze nearby
he hears a call and looks up to see
                  great golden wings of an eagle
                  oaring through the sky
he takes this knowing into his hands
                  bending into the hour

CLAIRE SCOTT is an award winning poet who has received multiple Pushcart Prize nominations. Her work has been accepted by the Atlanta Review, Bellevue Literary Review, New Ohio Review, Enizagam, and Healing Muse, among others. Claire is the author of Waiting to be Called and Until I Couldn’t. She is the co-author of Unfolding in Light: A Sisters’ Journey in Photography and Poetry.  

 Photo: “A Trojan horse in?…” by Pascal Maramis