The lean hare leaping across the white sky.
The sun riding high and small and bright,
shine on layers of snow, flakes accumulate,
into this old, this deep coldness
I never knew I would feel this.
Spring, summer, autumn, and
then the winter.
I fell though time,
my fate a rolling, turning ball of ice.
Three times I bound my daughter.
First with coloured strings,
tying her to her childhood,
so tight she could not breathe,
Then I pulled the shell comb through her hair,
My teeth were poison-needle sharp
I'd get into her head,
if I couldn't have her heart.
The third was the offer of flesh, red-ripe with promise.
She bit it eagerly remembering Eve,
the taste of sweet, awaiting knowledge.
Forgetting that old Eve now sits with her raven,
in the cave, alone.
I knew you then, my daughter, maid of spring.
Innocence and dreaming.
Pure and perfect.
Monumental maiden preserved in glass.
I knew that that all things turn
on the cycle the seasons bring
White-armed Persephone leaving
behind the four seeds in the barren ground.
Daughter, you shed my poisoned gifts,
Will you remember winter,
as you call for the shoes of hot iron?
I will dance, and I will be glad,
for I long to feel some warmth.
But daughter, remember winter, for she will come again.
Deborah's poetry has been published in Enchanted Conversation, Mirror Dance, and Dreams and Nightmares. She lives in London with her partner and two young children. She blogs sporadically at Deborah Walker's Bibliography