Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Price of Fire



author’s note:

To be clear: the returning hero could just as well have been a heroine.


THE PRICE OF FIRE

I brought fire down
from the mountain
on my blasted back:

after deliberately tempting
the gods of lightning
during a long dry summer
I was finally struck down--

finally

a storm god lost patience
with this hungry warrior.

When I returned,
the woman stood at the kettle
stirring cold soup.

“I have found fire
 for this house,"
 I announced.

She took one look at me,
saw how charred I was
and said:

“You could’ve been killed, Fool.”

“But the world and you
 depend on me,”
 I countered.

“You’ve frazzled your nerves,
 stammered your brain, so now
 I live with a tremoring shadow.”

I’d hoped for adulation
or if not that, then understanding
and thus, some leniency.

“The truth is, you did it for yourself--
 now rest”

and with that, she gave me
the understanding and leniency,
so we sat down to table,
knowing we’d deal with the demons
of my disastrous triumph
a little later on

while blessing the heat.


© 2009, Michael R. Patton
new steps

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1 Comments:

Blogger Goldenrod said...

"But at least we'd feel warm" reminds me that I really should turn on the furnace. My fingers are icy. I just looked at the thermostat. 69 degrees. Ha! Mother would laugh at me hysterically and continue to run around in her bare feet and sleeveless top. Me? I'm wearing two layers of clothing up top, wool socks and fur-lined moccasins and I'm still cold. Rrvit!

Let's hear it for Prometheus!!

4:25 AM  

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