For the First Day of Spring----
Persephone Inspecting the Garden
One month ago, she ate
the last of the pomegranate seeds
on the way back from a trip to the compost bin.
Snow covered her path
and the orange peels and eggshells
lay frozen together on their bed of winter greens,
but still she sensed a stirring underfoot
and a warm, liquid rising in the tall willow
as if to a shy face still unaware of its beauty.
Today, thin emerald blades of chives
sprout brushlike, from bare earth;
pale prepubescent nubs of rhubarb
push forth, prepare to blush.
Kneeling down, she pulls the golden coverlet of straw
from autumn’s last chrysanthemums,
plunges fingers in the soft dark earth,
feeling for the living stems.
Bending close, she listens
in that space between the growing thing and earth,
hears her mother’s voice.
from The Cassandra Pages