A Farewell to Agamemnon from Clytemnestra

I wrote this poem a few years ago and recently came across it again. It’s timely because I am also working on a novel about Clytemnestra called Betrayed.

Murder of Agamemnon, painting by Pierre-Narcisse Guérin.

 

A Farewell to Agamemnon from Clytemnestra

by Coreena McBurnie

“Farewell,”

I say to Agamemnon, my husband,

Who today returned home,

Victorious,

From the Trojan War.

Tonight the victory is mine.

His eyes grow wide, he sits up,

Sloshing water from the tub.

I throw the net over his naked body,

And watch him struggle,

A fly in a web.

The knife at his throat

Stops his fight.

“Why?” he gasps,

Like he really doesn’t know.

I laugh.

“To gain a kingdom,

You ravaged me on the night you made me

A childless widow.

You shredded my life with your knife.

But that wasn’t enough for you.

Hate festered when

You traded a ten year battle

Leading the thousand ships,

To return Helen, my beautiful, fickle sister,

To the husband who couldn’t keep her

In the first place,

For the life of our daughter.

Iphigenia was an innocent sacrifice.

Though you have blood on your hands,

I sacrifice you to Nemesis,

The goddess of revenge.”

I look up and meet the eyes of my lover,

The usurper, Aegisthus,

And pull the knife across my husband’s throat.

“Farewell.”

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