Guilt Wasn’t Why She Was Weeping

Like the searchlights that glare through the nursery’s breathmisted window,
Like the static that rasps through the speakers submerging the warning,
Like the heat-haze of summer that ripples the level horizon,
Just so did Helen
take the silvery veils on her shoulders.

And she walked the wall weeping where Priam was eyeing up targets.
Then, like a warrior taking his fieldglasses, softly
Priam called out to her, Helen, come sit with me, daughter
kissing her tears away
whispering, child don’t take on so.

But she threw off his hand – guilt wasn’t why she was weeping –
And that look that she answered with flashed like a silvery spearpoint,
Like the static that rasps through the speakers submerging the warning,
Like the heat-haze of summer
that ripples the level horizon.

Michael Donaghy

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