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The jail, stone grey, with a crude bowl of olives.Disciples in a circle at his feet.Even the guards listened inas he taught his eternal lesson,how to live like a moral human. Politicsback then—as now—rampant, wretched corruption,a den of sociopaths in sheep’s clothing.Off in the pastures, sheep brayed, bumpedbodies together to follow their leader.The men who gathered around him were young—which is what galled the elders who brayedat the trumped-up trial then gave him the option of exile.But known as the “Gadfly of Athens,” he would choosenot to travel to Sparta or Argos or Thebes. InsteadSpirit whispered, Lie down now. Here is your homeand here is your chalice with hemlock leaves.Like a strangler ruptures the breath,as muscles contract, the poisonwill climb up your bones. After that—you’ll be home. And over the hoursa green venom rose from the solesof his feet to finally take hold in his chest,when he whispered to Crito,“I owe a cock to Asclepius—” Those lastsacramental words offered upto the healing god. It is written—and Plato is subtle—even the jailers weptas they lifted the linen sheetover Socrates’ head. Outside,the sky sank with the heft of the rain.Up in the hills, sheep huddled together,hungry and wet.
From The Impossible by Deborah DeNicola (Kelsay 2021). Copyright 2021. Included in Vox Populi by permission of the author.
The Death of Socrates, 1787 Jacques Louis David
A socrates doll! How wonderful!
LikeLiked by 2 people
Thanks for this – really nice – I have a doll of Socrates bought by my partner from a charity shop (who why what??) it overlooks my bedroom as a sort of household ‘God’ (Lares?) He certainly always makes one think – all the time – Thanks
I love it. Socrates as the household god.
LikeLiked by 1 person
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