Hades begets Persephone

 
She awoke with a raw sense of dread
A cold sweat soaked the sheets of her bed
The sounds that night were not nighttime’s she knew
A hint of smoke contradicted the dew
 
Shadows danced on the bedroom wall
Where dancing shadows should not be at all
The normal still off white of the paint
Was lively with movement and firelight feint
 
She fumbled with billowing robe and nightclothes
Tying her robe up tight as she rose
Into a world of self doubt and fright
She stumbled out into the cold of the night
 
 She touched the back of the door to sense any heat
 Realised she’d no shoes put on her feet
 Sidestepped and slipped into a pair of sandals
 As her hand reached out for the frightful handle 
 
 When she dared to look through the gap in the door
 Using light flickering lively onto the floor
 From her half awake hazy sleep deprived daze
 She wondered if the place was already ablaze 
 
Further she pushed open the portal
Considered precious life and all that was mortal
Within her tiny flat B number 144
She wondered if she could take the fear anymore
 
And she listened alert for other clues
Thought about the price of paying her dues
She heard the crackle and pop of combusting wood
Her only thought now to get out if she could
 
She peered out into a reddish early morning gloom
To an apparently deserted yet eerie lounge room
But there at the side a large shape sat in a chair
Exuding an oppressive weight of despair
 
 The wood fire aglow had strangely been lit
 It certainly was not her who lit it
 A monstrous head turned to look into her face
 An inhuman form by nature disgraced  
 
 He had discreetly followed her around town for weeks
 In peripheral vision never seen when he seeks
 Creating acute nervousness from endless teases 
 A cat playing with a mouse its tormenting pleases 
 
She knew instantly her time had come
It was not to be as life had begun
No comfort from her mother’s caress
No strength to be found on father’s chest
 
 Hades stood to meet her towering ominously above
 Leering and smug antithesis of love
 She resigned herself to the monster’s arms
 Wishing after horror would come blessed dead calm 

In this d’verse challenge https://dversepoets.com/2021/08/03/poetics-persephone/ Sarah asked us to take inspiration from the myth of the abduction of Persephone by Hades. I saw ancient (and not so ancient) patriarchal rituals and modern parallels as I read Sarah’s summation of the story.

Dark, black night, cold, white frost, warm, golden sunshine

The cold can bite you here. It is sharp and crisp and penetrating. In the dark of a cloudless, moonless, star bright landscape, in the nocturnal brilliance of  moonlit contrasts, in the shelter of a blackened room, it stabs through the bedclothes. It targets your knees or a hip, whichever joint is most elevated and least supplied with a warming blood supply. It ices your brain.

Then the morning comes. The frozen grass cracks under your feet. The birdbaths are glazed and crazed and the world is a wonderland of white light, of reflective crystals. It’s all worth it.

Then comes the sun. Gently rising over the tree lined eastern horizon, shafts start breaking through the cold barrier in scattered beams of raw illumination. Light sprays jump from each hoary crystal bed they touch. But just as quickly, just as they commence their flashy dance, they are replaced by translucent droplets, silvery and clear, mirroring the world around them in fresh formed globules like polished convex glass.

Then the rich, thermal bath of undiluted yellow sunshine begins. It bathes our world in a warming golden glow, washing from our memory the cold that was snapping at our heels such a short time ago. We revel in it. We revere it. We relish the transition from the sharp edged winter’s night to the slow, melting, immersive onset of another glorious North East Victorian winter’s day.