Pat Seman

Grass in the meadow hip-high, scattered with wild flowers,
she’s gathering armfuls of them: iris, hyacinth and the pale
narcissus, its scent so sweet and heady it overpowers.

A trembling,
          a violent heave,
   the earth under her feet
                    she’s snatched
   dragged down, nothing
                              beneath her but a rushing darkness.

Can she still hear us, the trees whisper as their roots
push through crumbling earth to hard rock,

   voices reach her flitting
   through hollow chambers and twisting corridors,
   arrive as a distant memory, faint
   of the world above,
          where the mother
   roams in anguish, her despair
   a scourge that withers every green thing,
                                                           stripping the earth bare.

But Persephone knows now what she wants,

six pomegranate seeds,
jewel-like, glistening,
plump with juice.

She picks them one by one from his proffered palm,
each on her tongue
                              an explosion.

Light courses
through her darkness,
she’s rooted,
electric with knowledge.

The seed is sown.