Asklepieion. Jan 19, 2006

I walk up the steps,
Flinching in pain,
With every step I take.

I see the sick lying everywhere,
Everywhere I step,
There is still hope for some,
For some, it is too late.

I evade the ever-present stench,
It makes a knot in my stomach,
As I desperately seek for a bench,
Before nausea persist in my throat.

Ah, here they are,
The temple servants come to my aid,
They better treat me nice,
For a large sum of money in offering I have made.

I hear the sobs and the cries,
I try to put my mind away,
For I cannot stand the sounds of pain,
The temple priest assures me, it will all be okay.

No doctor has found a cure,
No one could my future foretell,
I was on the verge of death,
And only at the foot of Asklepios could I hope to get well.

Have I remembered to take it all?
Was my offering here? He asked, in a way.
Sure, the rooster is not one I would lack,
I had also made the order for a giant leg of clay.

Step right up, the high priest said,
As nausea came again,
The pool of sulfur was not somewhere I wanted to get in that day,
As the lepers passed through it, just before my time today.

I flinch in pain,
The servants are readily there to help me through,
I take a deep breath,
Ill do anything to find a cure.

The high priest handed me a goblet of wine,
Right after I had left the water of sulfur,
I was sure this was more than a simple goblet of wine,
It was supposed to help me in my pain, what was I supposed to do?

The abaton was in store for me,
I sighed with utter relief,
Asclepios would surely be content and complete with me going through this snake pit.
If not, Hygea would take pity on me.

I fall into a deep sleep,
Inside this incubator, where I shall get my visit,
Asclepios will sure see me,
And I shall dream of dogs and snakes to appease him.

Snakes are coming closer,
I can hear them in the distance,
I want to scream but I find a strong resistance,
I contain myself; I certainly am not getting any younger.

Snakes are on top of me now,
I shiver with fear,
I try to wake up, but I cant
I drown.

I am awakened by a priest,
Its time to go,
Tell me what you have dreamed.

A miracle! He yells,
You are cured, Asclepios has mercy!
A roar of applaud fills the temple walls,
As the sick cling on to a little hope before their fall.

I look around, puzzled and confused,
I do not feel any better than before I came in,
I walk out, in the daze I was put on,
Maybe I should cancel the order of my giant leg for these buffoons.

Disappointment fills my head,
As I try to make sense of the place I just left,
I sigh with utter despair,
I may have to look for hope somewhere else instead. 

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