Against the odds,
Despite the gods
Weary Xenophon has a chance
To lead his tired warriors
Back to sea-offered sanctuary.
But the course will never be his to choose:
Across rough territories lorded by
The worst of the worst;
There will be no rest from strife –
And, as we already know the return journey
Is never the same as the one that got us here …
And the beach may not be
The one we left behind.
The sun doesn’t rise here, or
Else will never set at all; there is
No security in night’s blankets
Where there is no sanctuary
And every breath is hard-won.