A Ditty for Persephone

 

                                              - A.E. Stallings


The daffodils peep from the grave
To see if it is spring.
All winter, no one thought them brave,
But now the King and Queen

Put up their pale green periscopes
And open jaundiced eyes:
It would not do to lift their hopes
When frost can still surprise.

If it is spring, the Queen will smile
And shake dirt from her hair,
And leave her earthen bed a while
And rise to take the air.

But like the crocuses and squills,
She keeps one toe in Hell,
Where they still spell the daffodils
The same as asphodel.