Poetry by Jennifer Brough: sacrifice

Poetry by Jennifer Brough: sacrifice
Content Warning: This poem contains themes related to violence against women.


a common root is shared
in rapture and rape

to seize, to carry off

jubilant and shrieking cries
crack open
palms press skyward
a renouncing of flesh

in the land where
maidens are unmade by gods
and a mother’s lament
we have lost another

p e r s e p h o n e

demeter’s grain fields shuddered
vines recoiled from her hands
beneath her weeping eyes
the earth lay open-mouthed
while a crop of souls overflowed below

they say a jewelled seed sealed
the unholy betrothal
from a pomegranate’s split skin
and her bloody lip

starved of light
consumed with fury
defiled, enthroned
her name became a curse
but to us, an omen

she returned… awry
a darkness had set in
like damp in corners
eyes glazed with untold shades
she drew us together
and uttered

“when entering the temple of zeus
or any of his shapeshifting ilk
conceal a blade
lest you become
an unwilling offering”