The Day of the Mysteries: To Demeter
For years I turned my face from you and barred you from my door;
like my own mother’s, your picture was never on my mantel.
Each year I waited for Persephone to leave you
so I could talk to her privately in the house of Hades,
away from your winter chill and your endless demands for growth.
I kicked the fallen leaves defiantly and did not call you
at Christmas, to give you an invitation you would surely
have refused. When the earth began to stir again, I called
to Dana of the heavens, her river of stars snaking through
all the rivers of earth. I felt the earth’s age in my bones.
Like your daughter, I would never again be Kore.
And then one day, looking at the phone on which
my daughter never calls me, I saw my face
in your round bronze mirror and it was my mother’s face
and yours. The girl I helped to raise turned into a woman
I don’t know, with an unpronounceable name, who lives
in a house she doesn’t want me to visit in a place
I can’t get to. And I am alone. O Demeter, Demeter,
did you always know this would happen? Is there
a place for me in your kitchen, a cup of tea,
a piece of toast? The days are growing shorter,
the nights are growing cooler, and my daughter