Chores Without End

I turn, and turn, and turn.

My path
loops back
onto my previous route.

The god of travel stays with me.

I just flit about on other chores.

What had the daimon meant by that?
What task
has brought this busy messenger
to me?

Another of his many duties
bubbles to the surface
of my mind
Like Iris, Hermes flits
from Sky to Earth
bearing messages
But also
From Earth to Tartarus
To the Realm of Hades
Bearing newly cleaven souls.

The heaviness returns to my body.
My legs ache from running.
My lungs burn for air.
A chill engulfs my heart.

"Please tell me,
Lord Hermes,
that you're not here
to lead me down
to the underground banks
of the River Styx."

Are you feeling unwell?"
Ruddy-cheeked Hermes asks with concern.

"N-not at all,"
I stammer.
"The blood runs hot in my limbs."

Hermes lifts one bemused eyebrow
to the rim of his helm.

In that way he has.

"How familiar that sounds!
How often,
when I draw near,
do mortals suddenly need
to proclaim their vigor."

Not me,"
I protest.
"When I return home,
I'll need a nap."

Hermes grins
in that way he has.

"A short nap,"
I add,
"Mother has many chores for me.
As they say,
There are chores without end."

"That saying is false,"
Hermes notes
and I shiver

"Chores Without End"
©2020 Greg R. Fishbone


...You're in the middle of it now...

This poem continues The Runner, the first chapter of Pyrrha of Thebes, a serialized novel in verse by Greg R. Fishbone. The story is set in the Bronze Age Greek city of Thebes, based on the Theban Cycle of Greek and Roman Mythology. Each poem builds on the ones that came before, so the story will make the most sense if you start with Book 1, Verse 1, "I Run," and continue on in order using the navigation links at the bottom of each poem.
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Read the Manuscript

The Runner

Collection Pyrrha of Thebes
Title "Chores Without End"
Order Runner, Verse 17
Followed By "Toward the Graveyard of Humanity"
Date Published June 14, 2020

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