August 11, 2021

Persephone Refracted, By Gail Jardine

Editor’s note: I’m a sucker for anything Persephone-related. The story of mother-daughter separation and reunion, the involvement of the seasons, the devoted love a mother has for her daughter have always touched me, and Gail has beautifully explored the heart of loss and renewal for Persephone herself. Enjoy!

Earth thaws to mud, and now these trees’ dull twigs

bloom carelessly their differences, hues spring

like secrets rumored into being, coaxed

to cover life in glory, hide the shame.

The sky absorbs it all, scatters the rays

through hopes nuanced with memories of fall

so seamless yet inconstant, lets light mix

in patina of ever-present air.

But I walk more coldly, tuck my dreams back

(I carry them, sure they can’t carry me)

too bright for marking by these moods of light.

Regally I’m stained with my past, my roles.

I’ve such a power of formality

that I must wield and yield to, so tell,

Sun who begs the honor of my presence,

what use have I for joy, for endless dance?

And yet the breeze keeps playing with my cloak,

flitting, but not to death, not petrified—

one can move and yet not vanish—can change—

for all my frowns, I feel suddenly free.


Bio: Gail Kathleen Jardine practices mathematics and music by water and woods. Her poetry has appeared in Songs of Eretz, Octavos, and Sylvia Magazine.


“With Blossoms Bare Bedecked Daintily,” by Constance Phillott, altered into black and white.


This poem was brought to you by Brittany Warman and Sara Cleto, two Patreon patrons. If you want to continue to see terrific new works of myth and folklore like Gail’s poem, please become an EC patron. Find out more here.


Kelly Jarvis said...

I love Persephone too, and this piece has beautiful imagery!

Sharmon Gazaway said...

Lovely poem. The story of Persephone is ever entrancing.

Gail Jardine said...

Thank you. I am glad to have you to share this with.

Gail Jardine said...

(I have a portfolio here, by the way: )