poem28 Aug 2022 06:00 pm
image generated by Dall-E artificial intelligence image generator

Claire Smith

Summertime - Persephone strides
through parklands
blazing sun ripens flesh.
She picks a pomegranate
rips it in half with fingernails,
sucks out sour seeds
licks acid aftertaste –
juice dribbles round her lips.
She meets him fishing the lake:
torn combats, faded
rugby shirt, baseball cap.
He knows how to talk sweet  
through a transparent film
of roll-up cigarette smoke
to the young Goddess. 
Autumn – he romances Persephone:
bags of fruit bonbons, pear cider,
A posy of sycamore helicopters
he rests on her head,
crowns his queen.  
He makes her laugh
with his game of ducks ‘n’ drakes.
No stones thrown –
he uses conkers to skim across the water.
Her heart reeled 
along with carp, roach, perch.
Her mouth hooked   
as he kisses her –
this odd mortal.
Christmas – he invites Persephone
down to his basement.
Furnished from strangers’ skips:
water-stained couch,
mattress torn, cooker red with rust.
She stares at the ceiling,
Persephone and him coupled – ends.
He rocks her body:
clammy, breathless, worn out. 
Puzzled; she wonders is this all mortals do?
Pluto’s waiting in the Underworld
for his Persephone to reappear.
Her lesson is learned –
The earth a place too cold, tiresome, flawed.
Return to Pluto’s Underworld she would... 

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