Persephone’s Retreat

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Curving away, murmuring
The water turns coy.
Dashing past rocks,
Muddy banks and tendrils of ice.

These retreating days are sensory.
The brown lets off a waft of decay,
Insects composting, in late warmth,
A brush of summer on my cheek.

The tawny grass leans askew,
Like a middle-aged woman
Whose good looks echo
In the curve of her cheekbone

Hints of a verdant summer linger
In the long, broken stalks.
A time when the river swelled
Luscious and ripe, overwhelming the rocks.

Today, the ice fingers off branches,
Dipping into the subdued, slowing pools,
Patterning away from edges,
Consuming the river a molecule at a time.

I can anticipate a pillowed white day,
The water converted and still,
When muted shapes suggest an underworld,
Awaiting Persephone’s gentle touch.

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