The goddess came and saved him once again.
We had him and his son, knives at their balls,
down, sweating. Then a voice like struck brass calls
out of the air. Our king had killed our men
taken one generation to the wars
and killed their sons for hanging round his wife.
I wish I had been quicker with my knife.
He hanged my daughters, said that they were whores.
The island dies. No one to guide a plough
sow seeds, make pots, bake bread. We will grow old
and starve. He has not even brought home gold,
just death. That’s all that Ithaca grows now.
Athena guards him. Otherwise our king
would be dead meat, not one of whom men sing.