We attack the beach at Troy in the morning and I look back, toward home.
I sit and stare west to Achaea across the sea where only yesterday our thousand ships had cut the deep.
My comrades are jovial, thirsty for blood and wine, for women and Trojan gold.
But how can we breach or scale those high walls? They are god-made. The horse-tamers of Ilium are battle-hardened.
Even with the mighty Achilles and Ajax, Diomedes, cunning Odysseus, Menelaus and kingly Agamemnon, I fear that our charges will break upon the walls to leave a feast for carrion crows and dogs.
The last time I saw a sunset like this I sat with my wife and daughters in the olive grove outside our home. We laughed as the cicadas fell slowly to sleep and fireflies lit those green and silver leaves.
The poet said that war breeds heroes, and that is true. But it also breeds widows and orphans and the death of bloodlines.
Oh goddess, if you can hear me now…
Watch over my wife and children. May I live to see them again, to hold them, to laugh and love and watch this same sun set upon our lands.
I am a warrior. I am strong. My sword and spear are sharp and my bronze and oak shield thick enough to break a hundred Trojan charges.
If I am to fight, let it be for the glory of my gods, of my family and of the land which I long to see again.
I will bleed for you… but I would not yet cross the fiery threshold of Hades.
Gods of Olympus, let this war’s raging be swift that we may all return home soon, the beaks of our ships adorned with wreaths of victory.