I Prometheus

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"I, Prometheus"
by Stephen A. Schrum


I, Prometheus,
With eyes half-closed
And labored breathing
Attempt to sleep for just a moment

To slip into slumber
Relax for an incalculable time

Perhaps to dream
And let my mind rest
And wander from my body

My body
Chained to this rock
Punished for my crime
Of bringing enlightenment
To those who needed it
And deserved it

A simple giving act
For which I spend
Eternity
Chained to this rock

(Do those who received
The gifts of fire and knowledge
Live any better
For the receiving of the gift?)

Daily, the eagle, sent by Zeus,
Comes to tear at my flesh
To slash at my flesh
With claws and talons
To tear at my insides
With talons and beak
To devour my liver
Leaving me to heal...
My body still chained to this rock

The eagle reminds me daily of my act

IS to remind me daily of my crime

But it was no crime
It was no sin

And I will never repent

And even if I did repent--
The eagle would still return daily
And tear at my flesh--daily

My waking hours spent healing
My nighttime hours wishing for a
Minute's sleep
A moment's rest

But never to forget my body
And this rock
And these chains

Forever.

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