Helen – Kristiana Reed


I wonder if in the arms of Paris,

Helen missed Menelaus.


In truth, both men were a menace

of the heart, the body and blonde locks

ships sailed for,

bones splintered for,

skulls cracked for,

Hector died for,

Andromache cried for,

Achilles bent the knee for,

Patroclus sacrificed himself for,

but no one prayed for.


Menelaus was abusive;

King who kept his wife a prisoner.

It was the lost look in her eyes

which made her beautiful.

It was her submission

which made her worth fighting for.


Paris was a thief, not of love

but of Aphrodite’s making;

and the way Helen’s bottom lip quivered,

was just right, ripe for the taking.

A forbidden fruit,

another man’s property,

a queen with dominion

over the roses in her cheeks

and her welts

and the salt in her tears

and her wish to melt into the sea.


I wonder if Helen

ever felt like a woman.

If she ever felt beautiful

like it wasn’t a sin.


Painting: Frederic Leighton

Kristiana Reed day dreams, people watches in coffee shops, teaches English and writes. She is Vice President of FVR Publishing, a curator on Blood into Ink, a collective member of The Whisper and the Roar & Sudden Denouement, and blogs atΒ My Screaming Twenties. She is 24 and is enjoying the journey which is finding her voice.

12 thoughts on “Helen – Kristiana Reed

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