She picked up his gift in a desultory fashion

Thumbing through the lines of text

Trying to fathom why he thought it important

Weighing up if it was about sex.


The snakes licked Cassandra’s ears and she foretold the future

But destruction of Troy  beggared belief

She lived long enough to crack their composure

That she was beautiful, intelligent but gently insane

The irony of predicting death while being unconvincing

Lead to a remaining lifetime of pain.


The book was a puzzle, why was it given –

She already knew the legend of old –

A comment about the human condition?

Or oppression and censorship, leaving her cold?


A woman disbelieved is rapidly silenced

Her insights overlooked, her madness unleashed

She rails against the norm, the accepted

Until she retreats, defeated,   stilled by violence.