Persephone Crosses the Styx

At the river’s edge, she thinks she wants to forget most everything
for this sojourn. To lose the way this smoky twilight thickens her.
Then, as she climbs she recalls that slick musician and the woman
he turned to see and lost then, not trusting her to follow out of the dark.
Just as the one she leaves behind never quite dares to believe in her
return. But she will. No matter how she loves the thin spring light
crackling on her skin, the green stalks stabbing up from the ground,
the end of winter hunger, the promise of harvest, the mother who would
ruin the world for want of her, she loves his solid silence more. The seeds
inside their tart kernels. After all, she recalls, pomegranates are a winter fruit.

[Neile Graham writes: I am a Canadian writer living in Seattle, WA, and am workshop director for the Clarion West Writers Workshop. My publications include three full-length print collections, most recently Blood Memory, and a CD, She Says: Poems Selected & New, and poems in various journals, including Strange HorizonsGoblin Fruit, and Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet.]

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