Heracles’ Heel By Dan Campion

Heracles’ Heel

Reportedly, a crab, which Hera sent
to vex the hero Heracles, he crushed.
Though by its failure Hera was incensed
she gave the crab new life and had it brushed
and buffed and made a fixture in the sky,
the constellation Cancer. It had done
its best. Indeed, when he would cast his eye
aloft thereafter, when a day had run
its course and night come on, great Heracles
would see the crab and in his heel would feel
again sharp pincers clutch and tear and tease
his flesh, and once again have no appeal
nor any means to cast off Hera’s chain.
Achilles, then, he’d murmur, in his pain.

Dan Campion is the author of Peter De Vries and Surrealism and co-editor of Walt Whitman: The Measure of His Song, a third edition of which was issued in 2019. Dan’s poetry has appeared in Poetry, Rolling Stone, and many other magazines. A selection of his poems titled The Mirror Test will be published by MadHat Press in February 2022.

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