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Persephone's Finger

Persephone’s Finger
By Sy Roth


It wormed its way to the surface.
Pointy finger tested the air, 
Wriggled in a sensuous Fatima dance 
Etch-a-Sketching the crepuscular sky above,
Shaming the heavens for what lies below,
Marking its inky darkness
While the tinny tambours played 
Among the pansies.

The veiled earth held the other fingers hostage 
Like a bundled faggot, 
Heretics awaiting their fire,
A mash of penitents silenced 
By the force of a convulsing mass.

The earth wears about its neck
A garland of cancerous coils.
Leied in aloha grief--
The oarsman sends greetings from the River Acheron.
He hangs idly by in the background.

Five-cent plastic bags dance along wisp-colored breezes
Skims the darks waters 
Hits land
Until one is stricken mute by the dancing finger.

Its handle catches on the crooked finger
And the bag ripples in the breeze
Rapping to a scrunchy, hip-hop beat 
While nesting on the tented, blinded finger.

Persephone’s finger breathes in halting afflicted breaths 
And finally worms its way back beneath the soil 
To wait once again. 

The bag flounces along to find a new byway
And the sky brightens, guiltless for a second
And looks down upon its beaten earth, 
Hums a mournful song, 
A threnody to its quotidian warriors.  

Copyright © Sy Roth | Year Posted 2021

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