When fair Odysseus with eyes like bird-sung sunrise
Was razing regal Ilium in steamy triumph,
Scouring each darkened Dardan face awash with blood
And cleansing from the city each like holy water,
He happened on a graveyard still and far from action.
The earth was loam and freshly overturned all over.
He heard, like rustling olive trees in autumn breezes,
A rhythm, breathing, hush as darkness in the dead of night.
Sword drawn, the seamless warrior approached the sound's source,
Flowing quiet like a pond in vital sunlight.
Around a mound of bones and dirt he found a coffin.
The lid was off, and in it was a dark-eyed infant.
The baby boy looked smaller than a purple grapeseed,
With hair like stygian oil, crude and unrefined
But soft as sleep. Odysseus saw and knew the child;
He was Astyanax, the dark-born son of Hector.
The boy, Odysseus guessed, was hidden by his mother,
The lovely and despairing queen Andromache.
He did not know that even as he found her son-star,
The Greeks were herding her to black captivity.
Like a rich favonian wind the warrior knelt down
And lifted up the baby from the marble coffin.
The child solvated fair Odysseus like slick surfactant,
Divergent doubts eclipsed his crystal eyes.
The infant was the son of his long sworn enemy.
Should he live on, his vengeance soon would grow to fierceness.
To spare the child would be an occidental weakness;
Disposing of the child would be an easy task.
And yet, the fair Odysseus looked warmly down.
His own Telemachus was but this size before
The Trojan battle brewing took the man from his son,
Who now was nearly ten, and growing like a lion.
For minutes fair Odysseus stared down at the child
And let his thoughts of home, an ocean away, take him.
He looked the child over once again, enwrapped
In royal-woven clothes of finest making.
The child's nose and hair and grave-dirt speckled skin were darkened,
His black gold eyes were open, quiet and exploring,
And they were all wrong; not the hyacinthine curls
He knew and loved, not Greek, not precious, not conquering.
This was not his son; his son was water and light.
This was not his son. He would see his son soon.
He stepped up powerfully to the Trojan’s high wall,
And like Scamander’s great cascades, he let the child fall.