Hephaestus’s Son

The following poem is a revised excerpt from a monologue (also called Hephaestus’ Son) I wrote and performed in a theatre production in Grade 12.

Did you hear about the child,

Who came running through the yard?

His hair was styled with grease,

And his knees were badly scarred.


His eyes, broken light bulbs,

Were lined with wet dirt.

His nails were bloody and broken,

And he choked upon his words.


Once he had found his voice,

In the rubble of the ruins of his heart,

He said to his parents,

“Mum and Dad, I met the dark!”


“I created something,

I wasn’t playing with Lego – ”

His mother cried,

“Oh Hephaestus’ Son!

Wherever did you go?”


“I crept into the workshop.

Oh! Please forgive me, pa.

I created a monster that’s running through my mind,

And I can feel the stretching scars.”


“Son you were warned,

You were told to stay out!

Now look at what you’ve done –”

Father fell to his knees and broke down.


The child was ushered to his room,

While his parents discussed downstairs.

He talked to the mirror,

But there was no reflection there.


He said:

“You’ve got grease in your hair,

And dirt under your eyes,

Your nails are broken,

And you’ve bruised your thighs.

Where are you coming from?

What on earth have you done?


Your mind’s made of clockworks,

But you found your hands stuck,

So you threw in a spanner,

Thinking it would fix it all up.

You cannot forge without the right tools,

But you forged yourself a fool.


The world was your play set,

You could be anything,

But you forgot every character,

Needs great detailing.

You cannot just step into shoes,

Without knowing the print of the boots.


You returned in a stupor,

Your tongue twisted in chains,

You had the heart and the smarts,

But you still fell and went lame.

What have you done?

Oh, Hephaestus’s son?



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