In Communion with Calliope: #2 Demeter

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In Communion with Calliope is a weekly poetry column by Ivana Devcic.

Oh, muse, settle down beside me

while I recount: My mother, 

Demeter, the goddess of agriculture,

of the harvest;

the timeless martyr,

closeted me,

tried to bury my will 

with her changing moods,

between her changing seasons.

She named me a goddess of Spring,

so that I might always be her subordinate,

so that she could always remind me

I only existed because of her,

because of all her sacrifices.

I forgot her cries of,

“I have given all I could have had for you.”

“Gaze upon all I have done for you,

she would whine.

Without choice,

without agency,


and pushed

and pulled,

I forgot –

I forgot how I ran to the pool,

begging for an end,

looking for an escape,

my tears mixing in the water

– a mirror, for the first time

reflecting  my true flesh,

shattering and splitting and hatching.

Weary right to my very bones,

I wanted to rest eternally.

But, then he heard me. 

I forgot –

I forgot how he erupted from below,

from the belly of the earth,

the darkness spouting out like sunlight.

I forgot how he took my hand,

held me like an answer to his prayers

(even though it was he who answered mine).

I forgot that he knelt before me,

in servitude, 

as everything that I never knew I wanted.

I forgot that he offered me a dominion,

the Queenship of the Underworld,

with him.

I forgot that I

was his mate,

his equal,

and his deliverance.

I forgot that I devoured the Pomegranate,

how I let the blood trickle down my chin,

and with rabid eyes, 

I assumed my epithets: 

The Bringer of Death…

… and of Light

I forgot that only Spring

could rebirth.

For what are Life and Death,

but two halves of a whole?