Editor’s note: FTM loves 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 us, 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.
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.