Demeter in distress


(Stands. To audience.)

She’s right. I don’t know what to do because nothing I do matters. I thought it was us, all these centuries. I thought Zeus made the storms and Apollo drove the sun. I thought the corn grew because of me, those yellow waves in the sunlight. The harvest was mine, and the storerooms full of grain. I thought my daughter made the spring come, and then when she left, I thought I made the autumn—my grief colored the leaves and made them fall, my tears watered the ground. And now—the times are wrong and I see. It happens anyway. It happened anyway, and always did. And we immortals, what are we? Stories. We’re only stories, half-recalled. And we will fade. We are fading, and we will fade. . . we’re only stories. . . 

(Turns her back, muttering, as lights go out.)

I seem to be writing more plays than poems these days. Here’s a bit of one I’m working on about an elderly Demeter and a middle-aged Persephone.