What Helen of Sparta left behind when she went willingly with Paris

Burnt sienna walls, pomegranate trees, oranges and the river that breaks its banks after the November rains; pieces of eggshell hanging by a ribbon from the shrine roof; clay figurines, storage jars, stories, seal-stones, frescoes, hymns; spring wreaths of hyakinthos and orchis quadripunctata moist with sweat; abducted girlfriends, disguised as boys for their wedding night; endless gym classes; thirty-one craggy-faced, grizzle-bearded suitors; countless sheep, oxen, and a horse cut into pieces; a torchlit room with damp sheets, meddling Aphrodite in the corner, smug; a motherless Theseus, a motherless Hermione, who was only nine.

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