Noon heat is rising fast
outside the walls of Troy
and there’s quiet in the fields
a silence understandable for men
who witnessed the bad omen;
but what of the birds, the tireless
cicadas on the cypress trees,
the crickets on the grass, the locusts?
Many witnessed the event
–a lonely crow flying inland
just at the break of first light
carrying a living fish gripped in its beak,
dropping it at the main gate
where it squirmed once, twice and then died.
And still there’s quiet in the fields
–rumours are only whispered.
More comes during the day:
dead sheep and stilborn babies,
old springs that spewed forth blood
and trusted wells gone dry.
People now wait for their priests
because they dread Cassandra
might tell them without refrain
they’re going down in history.