Today, the vernal equinox, snow dances lightly in the air, turning to large, white flakes that cover the grass and cars. Soon, sleet pounds against the windows. The wind blows in angry gusts—winter rages at having to let spring back into the world. I think of how tomorrow children will wake to a silent world of white. They will happily build snowmen and make snow angels, while the daffodils and tulips wait for the sun to return, and for the snow to melt to nourish their roots.
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,
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.