By Michelle Rochniak

I raise my ancient staff up to

The heavens and invoke the name of Mercury.

My messages of tolerance ring through

The air, and I lie down on seafoam meadows.

But the ground breaks away, and I am left with

Clumps of dirt and grass falling by my face.

Unforgiving world, you will never let me rest after

I snap my heartstrings and procure my soul.

Does no one suffer as I do?


To be a rocky planet circling close around the sun.

How simple life would be with just a resident of one.


My phone displays masses of

Messengers, ready to shout their

Ideas to the world, ready to extend their

Golden caducei to the rest of the cobalt globe.

Do I dare extend mine?


I find myself revolving, so involved with this great orb,

Yet just when I am safe, there is a hit I must absorb.


But contrary to popular belief, the caduceus does not

Heal. It does not

Remedy. It does not

Alleviate. It merely stays at the side of someone who

Tells a story that must be heard.

Am I important enough to speak?


This does not seem to be the life of safety I once thought.

I’m not the Sun’s protector; oh, what silly lies I bought.


But the golden snakes wrapped around the

Central pole hiss of kindness, not malice.

But the wings at the top descend from the

Sandals of a copper god, sprinting to deliver the news.

But the caduceus represents the storytelling spirit of a

Hand on your shoulder as you walk into Hades.

Am I not who I say I am?


They say, “Do not shoot the messenger,”

But Mercury sustains shots from

Meteorites every day.

Michelle is an intern and contributing author with the Heartland Society – learn more about her.

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