Persephone Grounded

Persephone Grounded
The toad I startle
every spring
by unearthing her
from potting soil,
and who startles me
by being a toad
and not a clod of dirt,
is busy licking flying ants
out of the air and into
her expanding belly,
loading up for the
long sleep ahead.
The day, the air, are unsure
about the season
but the earth is not,
folding back into herself
the ferns, the leaves,
the black-eyed susans,
and eventually the toad,
eventually the woman
who ate the seeds.
We all eat the seeds.
Not in innocence,
not fatalistically,
but in service
to the story.
Thought helps here,
but it’s the sticky tongue,
the preparation,
the earth itself,
            that matter.
S. Robbins, September 24, 2020 from Readings

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