Note: Writing a poem about a myth was a real challenge, and not something I would normally write a poem about.
A Case of Treachery
With a thunderbolt, then soft as the breath of life
the dust in Hephaestus’ skillful hand takes shape.
Into the forming clay he gathers Hera’s gift-
a hungry glowing coal with a will to burn.
Like a heated iron when held just right,
it can cauterize a festering wound.
In this way she is born, sent forth to man with an urn to hold.
Smoldering within, she seeks to use the iron’s rising heat
grabs hold the urn, and works the stopper loose,
thinking only of the quenching flow, she hopes
will soothe the smoking sore, thinking no one else will see.
She is engulfed instead by a brilliant flash-
slivers of sinister tinder thrusting outward
are ignited by the heat of her burning need to know.
Everything never wished for illuminates the scene as it flares.
No soothing flood rises to douse the hungry coal.
It is a fearsome blast that scorches all.
Too late the stopper stops the jar, and heavy hope stays trapped within.
Pandora stands there shocked, bereft but wiser now.
Forever burned, as Epimetheus’ bride.
© 2010 Jennifer M. Pierce, All Rights Reserved