Alice O. Howell   






Persephone's room is all pink rosebuds -


she has a princess four-poster bed


white with a white canopy


dolls and teddybears and a framed picture


of Daddy and Mommy when they were young -


Persephone's closet blooms with flowered dresses


shetland sweaters and matching skirts


and she has a cork bulletin board


with a school banner, a faded corsage


from you know who -



Persephone's mother is mild and sweet


she belongs to the Garden  Club and to


St. Margaret's Guild


                today's the equinox and Miss Stein at school


                said to look out the window and notice the position of


                the setting sun



Persephone leans on the chintz cushions


while opening the latticed windows


and there is a god there


a god with dark eyes and dark intent


a dark sweater and a dark gun


                She screams, but as the sun sets


                she is already down the black well of time


when Persephone's mother returns


she says: Oh, dear!