Persephone, I am tired of my cave.
I am tired of wrapping my head.
Five months you have slept
in the dark arms of your husband,
five months the dulled birds
are waiting to sing, the dogwoods
are waiting to be tousled.
Persephone, get up!
It’s time now to strip
off your ice girdle and walk
the city streets again with crocus-
Persephone, I am tired
of the dry, sweet scent of wood,
bored by books and wool.
It’s time to pry open the windows
of your smoky kitchen,
tear open the closet dresser doors.
It is time to give back to the iris
her Tyrian blue dress, recall
the tassel to the grain, the black-
spiced Barbera to the vine.
Hailey Leithauser's books are Swoop(2013), winner of the Poetry Foundation's Emily Dickinson First Book Award and the Towson Prize for Literature, and Saint Worm (2019). She is currently at work on a new manuscript, poems from which have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Agni, the Alaska Quarterly Review, The Birmingham Poetry Review, the Cincinnati Review/, the Gettysburg Review, and other journals.
Also by Hailey Leithauser (see all)
- The Poet in Late Winter - February 23, 2021
- Little Song - February 23, 2021
- Sweet Song - October 8, 2018