The Echo of Mothers’ Cries: #Haibun



Walter Crane [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons, from The Story of Greece Told to Boys and Girls by Mary MacGregor (1914)


I bid farewell to my husband and our cold, dark home. I walk uphill, placing six pomegranate seeds in my mouth. The burst of tartness on my tongue staves my hunger as I travel from the gloomy shadow world. I exit and taste the honeyed sweetness of the air. Freedom. Gazing at the horizon, I watch the Sun God’s golden steeds pull his chariot above the horizon, trailing coral flames. The day glows with promise.  A robin looks at me quizzically, then lets out a delighted trill.  I am no longer a matron; I am reborn, young, virginal. I answer the robin with a girlish giggle. As I laugh, the grass begins to grow, flowers bloom, and buds appear on the trees. I savor my brief time here. Mother, I am home.


Captured, bound, and wed

tethered by hunger and seeds,

Persephone’s fate

ancient Greece, Nigeria

mothers’ cries echo through time


My daughter is here. Alive! Her belly is swollen with the seed of her abductor. Her eyes haunted, she gives me a tremulous smile. I open my arms and embrace her–once again.


This Haibun is for Colleen Chesebro’s Weekly Poetry Challenge. The prompt words were light and dark.












34 thoughts on “The Echo of Mothers’ Cries: #Haibun

  1. Goosebumps! I love the supernatural fantasy elements of your Haibun. Wow. This form is turning all of us into creative poets for sure. You have a real knack for these. ❤

  2. Exquisite! I love how you experiment with new forms and come up with magic. Though rape is a serious, sorrowful subject, you point out the impact of sincere embrace.

    Incidentally, I remember when you applied the word “giggle” to daffodils. Your phrase “girlish giggle” reminded me of that.

  3. Pesephone and Demeter’s story is a powerful and extraordinary story which you capture delightfully in your haibun Merril thank you. I wanted to giggle gleefully too 😀

  4. I really love the haibun form and have considered writing a whole chapbook of them. Very cool. The illustration, too. I love those classic children’s book illustrators.

  5. I love what you do with this form of writing. I was fascinated with Greek mythology as a child and the story of Persephone and Demeter was one of my favorites. It’s still a favorite. There is so much to it. Your telling of it is wonderful. 🙂

  6. I was enthralled with the freedom to leave her husband, climb up the hill to mother (nature, earth) where spring begins to greet her.
    I love the Sun God’s chariot pulled by golden steeds, with trailing coral flames! Wow! This was lyrical prose.
    Congratulations to your daughter, husband. . . and baby makes three. ❤

      • Oh, the part about someone’s seed seemed to be implying a private person expecting. . . I’ll have to see why I thought it was a separate message. (?)

      • It’s a poem about abduction and rape–from ancient times to the present. The daughter is pregnant by her abductor. I was trying to tie together Persephone and more current instances, such as the school girls in Nigeria. Maybe it’s not very clear. 🙂 People can read all sorts of things into poetry.

  7. Pingback: Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 28 – LAUGH & CRY – Colleen Chesebro ~ Fairy Whisperer

  8. Makes me weep Merril! Oh thank you. I have that same picture on my laptop btw, and would have used it on my post if I hadn’t decided to dress up as Ceres myself. 💜 poignant, powerful

  9. Pingback: BTT #48: Come Soft Snows – Scattered thoughts made a little more random

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