by Katherine Hoerth
The goddess used to spend her winters fighting
against the seasons—shoveling the snow,
nursing her arthritic bones, and dreaming
of spring’s return. But now, she’s gotten smarter.
She packs up her RV and drives down south
to the Rio Grande Valley. Hades,
whose eyes aren’t fit for driving anymore,
slumbers shotgun at her side and snores.
She’d heard this valley was a kind of hell;
Persephone had learned to question stories.
When they arrive, she’ll spend the sunny season
plucking grapefruits from her backyard orchard,
devoring them slice by slice in bliss
each morning with her yogurt and her pills.
She’ll sunbath in the nude all afternoon–
she’s past the age of worrying on wrinkles,
cancer of the skin or peeping Toms.
She simply loves the feeling of this warmth
enveloping her skin like gentle flames,
the way that drops of sweat stream down her cheeks,
sparkling then pooling on her chest.
She’ll eat her Christmas dinner in a pair
of flip-flops and a sundress, decorate
a palm tree with some festive cotton balls
in place of snow. And then, she’ll celebrate
the new year in a red bikini, sip
one too many pomegranate cosmos.
When spring returns, she’ll pack her zip her suitcase up,
head back north to babysit the grandkids,
and dream all summer long of coming back
to winter with her love in paradise.