Jan 5, 2010

Persephone

Written by Andrea Scarpino

Read by Matthew Thorburn

“… she sent spectres, ruled the ghosts, and carried into effect the curses of men.” — 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

So it’s you, all along, to whom I should have prayed,
ruler of ghosts, curses. I dreamed of my father night after night,
wished when I opened my eyes he would be sitting on my bed,
waking me to eat. Each turn down a grocery aisle, I looked
for his cart filled with fruit, coffee. Driving the car
he bought me, I held my hand across the passenger seat,
waited to feel his fingertips. Nothing. Persephone,
I know you didn’t choose Hades, know you make the best of it,
loving the beautiful dead, touring the Underworld with kings,
using the harvest moon’s light to carry out your whims.
I know you don’t give up your dead. But what about
the weakest version of all they used to be, slightest glint
of their eyes, maybe, scent of their hair on a pillow, sheet.
If I offer you gifts of colored glass, fresh evergreen,
silk robes, berries, if I offer to take your place two months
of every year, if I sing at your knees. . . . Iron Queen,
I will pay any price. Just send my father’s ghost.

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