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There was nothing original in what she said —

for instance, All wars end in defeat for all.

They'd heard it before, and everyone agreed

she was totally wrong. So why did they lock her

away, pay someone to guard her? They dreamed

of smothering her, cutting out her tongue,

but somehow couldn't. She was more beautiful

than Helen. They liked to think of her out there

inside that stone pyramid, surviving, dying …

Apollo had spat in her mouth when she refused him.

That should have taught her to keep that tongue

locked up. No, no one believed they believed her.

She, who knew her own end would be rape and murder,

told herself this cell was a haven. If only,

oh if only … A doorway of light shone at the centre

of her floor; dry leaves shuffled, whispered.

By Diane Fahey

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