The Logos of Heracles
It is rare indeed that a man is named for his mother.
For in all ways save birth, my mother did
cause me to flourish. Each hurdle a step
higher than the last, but all within the reach of my stride.
A mortal life is short indeed. A labor thought
long and arduous. But as soon as it is done
another labor rose to challenge me.
For it is in my greatest triumphs
That I realized there was always yet another
monster that would besiege the temples
Another creature that would savage children
And another prize that I would be sent to claim
My mothers lesson was not that I could accomplish
All the tasks that man could set before me.
For when my tasks were done I wandered,
for still the smoke clouded my mind.
I sought to once again regain that which I had
Thought lost, seeking a princess, gold, and honors.
And so I lost my dearest companion, all in seeking
that which my Mother had tried to warn me of.
When my rage at my success once again took hold,
I slew those who had thought me kind and good.
A man who stood by me when all others had betrayed
Lay broken at the feet of the wall I sought to protect.
I prepared myself for greater labors of strength
To prove my worthiness of forgiveness
And it was within the scrubbing and polishing
among the burns of weaving and baking
That I found true joy, and laughed at my own pretensions.
I had feared the laughter as I wore the clothes
of the role ordained to those I thought lesser.
And yet such demands as my labours were light
compared to the incessant call of the loom
the blast of the oven, the endless cadence of the broom.
Every day began a task as my captor sat upon a throne
wearing the skin that I had taken in such dire time.
I laugh, for it is indeed a virtue to do women's work
and my mother did well to set such a task upon me.
For such labours were never praised, though their completion
was as grueling as all other steps within my stride.
And in those final tasks of guiding a child
from grasping at a flower upon a precipice.
That I learned what my Mother was teaching me.
And the tears fell.