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December 18, 2019 Poetry

Ceres in the Uncreation

Anne Barngrover

Ceres in the Uncreation photo


I tried to write a warning
                            in chaste trees and pumpkin vines:
the worst men of our lives will return 
                to us in more ways than one.


Preordained, how women must watch
                             this reincarnation of cursed stone,
the curdled constellations
                of anger and loneliness you men re-write


and call myths of heroes. Call yourselves heroes.
                             Don’t you ever learn? I am the goddess
of law and order. I am the goddess of food
                plants and cereal grain. Without agriculture
 

your precious bank note civilization
                             collapses into slag. Your precious
small farms. You treat them how you treat your women:
                admonished husks, aberrant gourds. 

I am the guardian of women and girls 
                             in their times of transition,
the points when they’re most vulnerable. Which means
              at all times, which means I cannot protect them.

My name translates: to grow. Did you know 
                              I was chained? From him I birthed 
another daughter along with the child
                 of a horse. You want to say, I did this to myself. 

If I had not lived 
                            in this body. If I had not run. Was it a son?
Even the goddess of vessels becomes a vessel. 
               The summers you created broil your crops

and your cities. You’ll fight long wars over water 
                               that evaporates into smoke. 
Perhaps you have forgotten? Your stars were never 
              undying. The Fates are women, also. 

 

image: Dorothy Chan


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