The Surgeon

I closed his chest, stitch by stitch,

Life renewed with heartbeats itch.

A boy, perhaps, of sixteen years,

Yet I, to Death, owed arrears. 

For from his clutch, with surgeon’s knife,

I snatched away my patient’s life.


Each day the boy went strength to strength,

Any wound should heal at length.

Or so I was, content to say,

What had the donor lost that day?

What I would lose, I knew not then.

I could not guess, I knew not when.


My debt increased year on year.

Ruled by head and not by fear.

Until I met that boy once more,

Then I knew how Death kept score.

For every soul that I could save,

The boy condemned more to the grave.


Blood flowered then inch by inch,

A wicked smile caused me to flinch.

A corpse was held in sweet embrace,

As my thoughts froze with my disgrace.

“Sweet Doctor, you once saved my life.

So now it’s me that wields the knife.”


The monster approached stride on stride,

Body dropped, no need to hide.

A wicked wretch that held my eye.

“As I shall live, now they shall die.”

Such ominous words fed my distress.

I found I could not find redress.


I felt him strike, blow to blow.

Hammering beats becoming slow.

Was this to be my bitter end?

Was this how Death would make amends?

Which of us, the surgeon now?

The floor rose up to meet my brow.

We had to write a poem about Prometheus, a titan from Greek legend. I struggled for a while to find a concept and in my research was reminded that Frankenstein was “the modern Prometheus”. I have always adored Frankenstein and decided to use it as inspiration to write this poem. An adaption of an adaption of an adaption – some sort of inception nonsense!

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