A rewrite of an earlier poem;
The first version's on the blog. There I mainly
Counted syllables; this one's in blank verse.
A few lines made it through without a change.
A dual reference is meant by "unguarded
moments"—first, Paris and Helen, and then
Pulling the Horse into defenseless Troy.
In Greece, she was "The Face," desired by many.
Although a queen, she stepped aside to take
A royal boytoy—Paris, prince of Troy.
The prince was "up" for it; the queen was "down"
With it; together, they uprooted lives
And sent both Greek and Trojan kingdoms down
A bloody road. How should Greece respond?
On this one, Menelaus missed the boat;
Political intrigue like this would be
Prime TMZ material today.
Here’s what King Menelaus should have done:
Produce a pregnant mistress, maybe two…
Or three… and pay some gossipmongers well
To spread the "truth" about the prince's habits.
Paint Helen as another filly Paris
Was wont to stud. Let's face it, he was clearly
Horsing around already, right? In days
A dozen wagging tongues might have accomplished
What took ten years of battle on the field.
Instead, the Greeks had only this to show:
A wicked waste of military might,
A cuckold husband, Troy a pile of ashes—
We warred ten years for that?—and her, "The Face,"
Unable to produce a single heir
And likely stabled somewhere far from men
Until nobody cared. All told, it seems
A costly debt for one unguarded moment,
A heavy price for those obsessed with wood.
Ironically, we now believe that Trojans
Reduce the risks of unprotected sex.