HC (29 January 1947 / New York, NY)

Persephone's Gift

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.

(Copyright 3/22/2006)

by Hugh Cobb

Comments (3)

It is thanks to wonderful work like this that these stories never lose their powers of enchantment. I liked your concern for Persephone too - I feel her pain is often overlooked in favour of her mothers. Amazing poem, Hugh, well done. Hugs Anna xxx
It is those that visit the underworld..that can re-serface with new perspectives and enrichment. Hugh this poem was educational, unique and original, not one cliche, creative, and godly exciting with mythstery..lol.. Truly a fantastic poem. :)
Entrancing writing, Hughy. As a child, I was absolutely fascinated by mythical stories. Your poem here has succeeded in re-awakening this very sense of fascination in me. Thank you, then. With warmth, Gina.