Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2022  Vol. 21  No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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The Persephone Period

You have to wait.
You have to wait until
July has left and August is
gone, too, those months
in which we never think
to gather anything, instead being
just in the haze and bee-swarm days
so each autumn surprise slams
us with its bitter, its end of asters
and sedum and numbs with its brown
until the dog tries to find the toad
it harassed all summer and in doing so
crunches the dead leaves which are finally
so dry they are almost tiny bells
ringing with seeds and underneath that cold
is the memory we forgot to have in July,
which is the silent growth and bloom now
beckoning and we have waited long
enough. We can shake the chive chaff from
the seeds and, too, find the milkweed for next
summer’s monarchs and slide a closed fist up
the long stem of each liriope holding then
in a flattened palm the future green, not yet
alive but already imaging that warm earth,
that future summer self who will not remember.  

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