Portrait of My Mother as Persephone

teresa t. chappell



I remember my mom

as youthful, still cracking jokes

while lying in a hospital bed, laughing

her deep belly laugh, as if

she would live forever.



Persephone reaches for the narcissus,

strokes her own ego, enlarging

it with naiveté–unknowing

that if she pulls the flower

too quickly, too eagerly, she might

yank out the roots; dirt might

spill down on her and bury her

in her grave. Obstinately unaware

that Hades would open

the earth and let it crumble

in around her, steal her

from the breathing

world and take her

for his own.




Teresa T. Chappell is a poet passionate about tethering the unseen onto the material. Her work has been published by Coffin Bell Journal, Indie Blu(e) Publishing, and Variant Literature. Besides writing, her hobbies include reading, eating, and swimming in the Long Island Sound.