Persephone's Gift - Poem by Hugh Cobb
Equinox passed: (a pause so slight
if you blink you could miss it entirely.)
Persephone has not yet returned to Demeter:
Hades is frozen with grief at her leaving,
slowly counting a six-month eternity to her return.
Earth's still trapped in winter's baleful grip
as Demeter exacts her cold revenge.
Fearing her daughter one day might choose
not to come back to her, she prepares
for a new Ice Age. Her rage would know no bounds...
Strange that such a time denoting hope, growth
& life renewed should always begin
with death's reluctant release;
how cold, how hard a mother's heart
towards her daughter's mate.
& what of eternal Girl, herself?
Does she long for Hades' dark bed,
his sensual touch, the brutish power of his maleness
or does she simply miss their shared
place in the Underworld, where
beauty only exists because of her?
Does Persephone wear a locket
with Hades' image within its gilded case,
his dark eyes burning for her alone?
What gift does she bring back
to the Lighted world above?
Out in pure sunlight her eyes must ache
adapting to such brilliance
pupils closing to tiny dots of black
mirroring his own. Yes.
& what gift other than herself
does she bring to soothe
her mother's icy ire?
Perhaps only a single piece of fruit:
a perfectly ripe, juicy pomegranate
& the bitter taste of betrayal.
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