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Back to Hell: Demeter’s Apocalypse, part 20

Persephone wrung 
a grudging Spring 
from a tired Earth.
She milked the clouds
and mixed the soil
and nurtured the plants
and cursed her mother
for tricking her out of Hell
with the bloodfruits 
of her girlhood.

She drifted in a sulky fugue,
dreaming of her Boy 
and her Lost Souls
and the Elysian Fields
that bloomed around them.

She found herself in 
Hyssop’s garden,
probing the edges
of her existence
like an aching tooth.

A dark shadow obscured 
the noontime sun,
but it didn’t scare her. Not now. 
I guess you loved her
she said to the Dark.

Hades shifted and shrugged.
I thought I did
Do you miss the Underworld?
It’s not the same without you.

Persephone nodded glumly.

Come here, he said, 
opening his hand
to reveal six ruby-red 
pomegranate seeds,
each plump with possibility.
Don’t tell your mother.


This final installment of Demeter’s Apocalypse, an experiment in epic poetry, is dedicated to THOMAS BARTON JD, Thorne, and Karen Kilbane Thanks so much for reading!

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