"Gathering Almond Blossoms," John William Waterhouse, 1916, Wikimedia photo.
“Gathering Almond Blossoms,” John William Waterhouse, 1916, Wikimedia photo.

Part 2: Fragmented Family Recast

Life and death, destinies unique as turning
Potter’s wheel, no two Greek vases same.
Such were families battle-torn, perseverance,
Arduous path of love and survival. Childless
War-widow Kypris, righted Athenian wrongs,
Two Melian sisters at slave auction, two gold
Rings Kypris offered for our freedom, loving
Daughters adopted and adored.

Yet, another came into our lives, Theron and
Urn of ashes, husband-father, from Athens
We escaped to mountain seclusion, beyond
Reach of warring tribes, our lives amongst
Shepherds and roaming flocks, where soul
Of Kasos drifted in thick spruces, mist
Neither living nor dead, fragmented family
Recast from distant island shores.

Chorus of Kypris:
Daughters grown with children of their own,
Kypris eyes and heart faded, breasts cold,
Withered womb, she protected identity of
Ontonia and Ædeon, rescued from men and
Desires profaned, her diary papyri-recorded,
Placed in burial urn of her first husband,
Kasos, able Athenian archer.

On sailing ship to Melos Island, Ædeon and
I carried burial urn, ashes of Kasos and our
Mother’s diary. By torchlight we ventured
Upon pitching decks, waves moving our
Lives and earth, to open ocean ashes spread,
Papyri fire-burned, witnessed by our aging
Father, Theron, Melos returning, righting
Years of island separation, war wrongs.

"Gallo-Roman Women," Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1865, WikiArt photo.
“Gallo-Roman Women,” Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1865, WikiArt photo.

Concluding Chorus:
Celebration! Ontonia and Ædeon, with adult
Children, island home returned, restoring
Life required decades of sacrifice, secret truth
Concealed in urn-hidden papyri: aristocratic
Women were once child slaves, power, wealth.
From funeral flames to pathless wilderness,
Tears and prayers, family blood and bone, that
Destroyed by war was rightfully regained.

Poetic Characters:
Ontonia and Ædeon – Melos Island sisters sold into slavery in Athens.
Kypris – Athenian, wife of Kasos, rescued sisters.
Kasos – Athenian archer battle-killed on Melos.
Theron – Comrade of Kasos who returned ashes of Kasos to Kypris.
Chorus – Collective voices in single stanzas providing reader background.

See this link on the Melian Dialogues.
For more on the Greek chorus see this link. 

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