Hades keeps the cold all to himself.
Winter is a whisper in his heart,
his robes chalk white
against the charcoal sky.
Hades keeps the ice all to himself,
icicles, cherry sorbets,
your breath frozen on the wind
and his moisture chirping braids into your hair.
Hades keeps in himself
ravens against a paper sky
on short days when sunlight is faint memory,
and sound that carries long and far
through the barren air. Beneath the snow
holly berries are frozen in their red,
and cherry skin has burst to birth red crystals;
and Hades, he —
— he gathers them all.
He gathers them all.
He will gather all of them.
[Alexandra Seidel probably caught the myth and fairy tale bug while she was out in the woods one midsummer day. Meanwhile, the disease has turned her into a Rhysling-nominated poet, a writer, and an editor. Her first collection of stories and poems, All Our Dark Lovers, is forthcoming from Morrigan Books on Valentine’s Day 2013. Other work may be found in Mythic Delirium, Goblin Fruit, Stone Telling, and elsewhere. You can follow her on Twitter (@Alexa_Seidel) or read her blog.]