Persephone on Our Minds by Julian D. Woodruff

It’s hard to consider Persephone now,

When we’re all sporting sunscreen, and straw hats, and shades.

When farmers are happily manning the plough,

Do you think they remember that maiden in braids?

When managers teach summer temps when and how,

Is Persephone one of those pert office aides?

But oh, how she’s longed for when never a bough

Bears a leaf, when great white drifts have buried green blades,

And numb grow the fingers, lips, even the brow;

When young lovers cease singing their sweet serenades

‘Neath windows to shivering sweethearts who vow

They will not leave their beds for love, money, or grades ...

Persephone, stay, and bid Hades farewell!

It’s too much to take that you’re gone half the year.

We hear your life’s grim with that husband from hell,

And when you’re away, it’s unbearable here.


Julian D. Woodruff came to story–telling while explaining to authorities in East Berlin how he lost his passport. Now residing in western New York state, he writes poetry and fiction, much of it for children. His poetry appears on the websites of the Society of Classical Poets, Lighten Up Online, Parody Poetry (defunct), and elsewhere. He is currently well along in a rhymed commentary on Medea.

Author's note

To me, Persephone is one of the basic figures of Greek mythology, much more basic than the likes of Medusa, about whom I wrote in the first issue of Carmina. “Persephone on Our Minds” stems from fond memories: working door–to–door for the duration of a fierce Boston winter; trekking for half an hour hatless through the winter wind (chill factor minus 67 Fahrenheit) in Evanston; residing thirty–one years in California’s central valley, where every summer seemed hotter than the previous one.