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"Chores Without End"

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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.


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