Issue No. 9, Summer 2014

Persephone Explains the Pomegranate
Anne Brannen

I was exhausted.
The flowers, the sun, the singing,
the abduction, Mom screaming
in the distance —
what an afternoon.

Even so, I refused,
adamantine. No crown, no
shadowed halls, no infinite
dark, no cushioned
throne. Then, the bowl,
heaped with ripeness.

In the dark the seeds shone
not like rubies or blood but
sun through red glass.
Lively creatures, in all this death.

I saw it all.
The grief, the rage, the
break, the bargain, beyond
compelling. Dark, peace,
quiet. The end of heat, of
singing, of sun; the harvest
of the relentless summer
of grain.


Anne Brannen currently makes her home in Albuquerque, to which she has returned after a decades long absence. She is a former professor of medieval literature and current mistress of herself. Her poetry has been published in such various journals as Cabinet des Fees, Literary Mamas, New Mexico Poetry Review, and Kestrel.

  • Love it. “the relentless summer of grain.” Wow. Thank you.

  • Macha NightMare

    Thanks, Anne. I intend to share this with the Witchen inmates I work with at San Quentin.