Monday, 14 January 2019


by Candyce Byrne

Like Persephone she vanishes
in the April morning, a tangle-haired twelve-year-old
out for a jog.  They find her headphones
in the mailbox where she left them
when she thought only rain threatened.
A week gone.  Dogs and neighbors search in vain.
Like Demeter we rage.
Like Persephone she emerges
from the underworld of Cabrini Green.
(Not our first maid but another, just nine,
on her way home from a friend’s house.)
Her rapist says he dragged her
into his girlfriend’s apartment
and when he was done
threw her into the hall
hoping she was dead.
In place of pomegranate seeds
he filled her mouth with roach spray
to destroy the evidence.  Blinded her.
Crushed her throat under his foot to stop her screams.
Like Demeter we rage.

Demented at Eleusis
we rage, we search, we cry,
Enough!  Bring her home.  It’s time!
Helpless as Demeter, we rage.

* * * * *

"Eleusis" was originally published in Bay Laurel (September 2012).

Candyce Byrne studied music, English and journalism and is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and Clarion West.  She has been a broadcast journalist and anchor, a science writer and editor, managed publicity for nonprofit organizations, helped found and run a theatre for nearly two decades, and is currently the book review editor for NewMyths.  In addition to poetry she writes short stories and plays and has published in Grasslands Review, Xizquil, Magic Realism, Thin Ice, Bay Laurel, Asimov's and NewMyths.

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