Monday, June 01, 2015

Persephone in Ghost Town by Diane Dehler

Persephone in Ghost Town

Persephone walks in Ghost Town at 26th & San Pablo in Oakland.
Fireworks erupt into violence of a lost and mythic war zone.

Here on 26th Street drug dealers host a 4th of July extravaganza….
I didn’t know this.

I told my neighbor, a thirty year old woman with six kids and large
sad eyes that I was planning to “go to” the city fireworks event.

What do you mean she replied, you just go stand out on your porch and the
4th of July be coming to you.

Smoke and torrents of blood colored displays rained for hours transforming
an urban ghetto into an abandoned city in Hades.

Persephone appeared in the smoke and her three months of habitation
here in the Sorrows haven’t done her much good.

Here, where children are flayed by bullets and human needs waft through night.
-An historic parallel of mythos and brutality.

Persephone’s beauty is as out of place as a Cecilia Brunner bush.
My front yard is a Sleeping Beauty land of pink roses run rampant.

They push through clay soil and a top layer of loam to cover the rickety porch.
It was my fingers that dug deep beneath with a trowel, planted hope.

A barrage of litter blown by wind spills into my small yard that is not an
island, despite the lush perfume of roses.

Yet the roses prevailed long after the occupant of the decayed house fled.
Meaning I eventually got away unlike most.

Ghost Town is homage to a great land of prosperity and poverty’s
discarded children.

I saw Persephone departing with one of them,
foster mother to despair.

Diane Dehler

First published, Deepwater Literary Journal, Issue 1, February 2014

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