The Skylark Prize
Lexington High School, Lexington, SC
Daylillies and Darkness
The tragedy of Persephone has been told for centuries—
naïve girl is deceived by an older man,
stolen from her mother,
forced into a world she doesn’t understand,
doomed to be captive for half her life.
It’s a testament to the innocence and naïveté of young women
and a statement on how they must be protected.
Until it isn’t.
a young girl, sheltered and safeguarded against the world,
She knows this story, knows how it ends,
and decides she doesn’t want to spend the rest of her life
frolicking through flowers in the safety of her mother’s meadow.
She wants to feel powerful, indestructible,
wants to watch something crumble to dust and fall through her fingers,
wants to have power over more than just the foliage.
She wants more.
So when a chariot crafted of bone appears over the hill,
when the countryside crumbles, leaving a gaping pit
where the wildflowers used to be,
she knows she’s found her chance.
Persephone sauntered into the Underworld with a smile,
planted the seeds of love in Hades’ heart,
ate the pomegranate seeds in one bite.
She wound flowers into her hair underneath an obsidian crown,
sat upon her new throne,
and smiled a smile that could coax flowers out of the frost,
cause the dead to tremble in fear.
Half springtime, half grave.