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The Fall of Troy

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Sing now the heavy furniture of the fall,
the journey’s ending. Strong Aeneas bears   
deep on his shoulders all the dark wood chairs   
and tables of destruction. Bruising, blunt,   
they force his feet on up the war-scraped hills   
past raped dead temples. All Achilles kills   
litters the trail of sofa legs with other   
endings of houses. Further up, gods sit   
changing their own upholsteries of deceit,   
ordaining shelves and benches as the goal   
of his dim voyage. Sometimes arrows drawn   
on chair backs point the way they must go on,   
signs that some corridor of destiny
is reserving him a threshold. Aeneas weeps   
at wind or passion, but steadfastly keeps
carrying battered merchandise marked ROME
in one direction, pondering it all.


Rachel Hadas, “The Fall of Troy” from Halfway Down the Hall: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 1998 by Rachel Hadas. Reprinted with the permission of Wesleyan University Press.
Source: Halfway Down the Hall: New and Selected Poems (Wesleyan University Press, 1998)
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The Fall of Troy

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