they say he stole her,
as if Persephone were only something to be coveted
and not a goddess in her own right,
as if she were not as feared in their realm as he.
they say that he corrupted her,
that Hades’s flower wilted under the stench of his death
but they forget that Spring is rebirth,
that if anyone could be touched by the underworld and flourish,
that it would be her.
they say that he tricked her,
that she did not want to stay.
but they forget how the winter drags on,
how each year it creeps in sooner,
leaving bones aching for a hint of her warmth,
and it is not because he will not let her leave
it is because
she does not want to go.