Together through the Spartoi Wards

Hermes watches me
as we run
together through the Spartoi wards.

Does he expect me to speak?
Would that be allowed?
Did his nod grant me such an honor?

And still,
Hermes waits for me as we run
together through the Spartoi wards.

I suck a dry breath
into my fluttering stomach.
The air gathers strength
For a pace or two
or three.
Then pushes formulaic words
Out
Through my tight-clenched smile.

"A thousand greetings to you
on this pleasant morning,
Baal-Hermes."

The god arches an eyebrow
As we run
together through the Spartoi wards.

My insides shrivel.
How could I have made such a mistake?
How could I have laid
Sidonian honors
on a daimon of Hellas?
"Lord Hermes," I correct myself.
"Great Lord Hermes,
a thousand greetings to you on this pleasant morning."

Hermes smiles at me.

"It is indeed a pleasant morning, young Pyrrha.
The pink fingers of Eos
have chased away the great bear
that guards the night.
And just now,
I've spotted the blazing chariot of Helios
clearing the mountains to the east,
heralding the bright Hour of Auge."

My breath releases in a sigh.

Hermes speaks with bells in his voice.
With birdsong in his words.
With thick-flowing honey that oozes into my ear canals.
Now that I've heard that voice,
the voice of an undying god,
all mortal speech will forever sound
like braying goats.

It is indeed a pleasant morning,
young Pyrrha.

My eyes pop wide.
He spoke my name.
He spoke
my name!

Hermes,
the giant-slaying patron
of merchants and messengers,
of travelers and tricksters,
of liars and thieves,
son of mighty Zeus himself,
addressed me by my name!

I force my face back into a mask of calm,
but my insides bubble like a cauldron
As we run
together through the Spartoi wards.

"Together through the Spartoi Wards"
©2020 Greg R. Fishbone

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

This poem is part of "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 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. The most recently posted poem is not the end. New poems drop every Sunday.
 
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Navigation

Collection Pyrrha of Thebes
Title "Together through the Spartoi Wards"
Order Chapter 1, Verse 13
Preceded By "Acknowledged"
Date Published May 17, 2020

Linked Notes

Hermes
Pyrrha

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