Mary Madec

Persephone: Coming of Age

At the end of the Spring season, she plays in the ragged grasses
clumpy, uneven, wet like the hairs on the mount of Venus,

the sentinel peaks rising in the distance
by the tender early light, now her breasts;

in the waters of the inlets her arms and legs
stretch like promontories.

She is aware of the suck and tug of the earth
taking her into itself, into its dark folds.

When she thinks of her hips, they are a boat
carved out of an old apple tree she remembers.

She longs for a river; she would give herself to its bed,
its mud and stones like flesh and bones.

And she knows, as a salmon knows, that she would go with it
into the dark places water flows, on its way to the sea.

Mary Madec has previously been published in Poetry Ireland Review, the SHOp, Cyphers, The Recorder, Natural Bridge, The Foxchase Review, Iota, and The Stand (forthcoming).   She won The Hennessy Prize for Emerging Poetry in 2008 and in 2010 her first book In Other Words was published by Salmon Poetry.