Saturday, July 17, 2010

First Draft: Persephone

I'm liking this one a lot, though I have the feeling I'll be revising her a bit. I've heard it said often one should never love one's own work - pah, I say. You had better love your work. Sometimes that's all that gets you through rejections, revisions, and the long haul from poem to manuscript. That said, I would venture to say that you need to be able to take your lumps and critics seriously, too, or you'll never learn to improve your craft.

In any case, I offer you a first draft of "Persephone," and I'll admit to liking the last few lines quite a bit more than is proper. Here's to hoping this one grows into a keeper!


Persephone by Colleen S. Harris

There is nothing so faithless as
a girl left on her own among the other
green and growing things. Brimming

with life, carelessly killing the field’s
flowering army so she can wear
ribbons of bluebells in her hair,

she has no need of forgiveness
or prayer, no sense of life’s fraying
hem. She has no idea she’s dancing

over death’s own head, bare feet
knocking at his soil door until he rises
hungry from the pit, the field a gaping

maw, his sudden hand a vise
on her ankle as she falls. Landing
in a heap, tangled in her own long

locks, trapped between his body
and the earth, she looks up
at him and finds the need for faith.

Now she believes, and prays.
When the dark hand of a god slips
up your skirt, how is a girl to say no?

1 comment:

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Mmmm! Definitely don't murder this darling.