Demeter

My mother is dismantling a pomegranate.
We may have left it in the bowl too long;
there are a great deal of brown and squashy seeds.
We meant to eat it long ago, but it has been such a week,
such a month, such a year, that we had forgotten the pomegranate.

Last night, I claimed my body’s sovereignty and so took a forty-
minute walk through the neighbourhood, which I am told
is an inexcusable risk; that simply to be outside alone after dark
is more vicious, more desperate than driving drunk, but I don’t care,
because music tastes sharper once the streetlights have been lit.
I saw a house bedecked in Christmas finery.
It is not December, but this is not unusual; I stopped to stare
at an inflatable Santa Claus (who has been declared untouchable),
whose nylon face has already begun to twist and sag
with all the rains we’ve been having, and I thought how winter

has snuck up on us this year, how time grabs all it can hold
and rushes past like a malignant spirit haunting your darkened kitchen,
in your peripheral vision, hurtling through with nothing to stop it,
no pots and cutlery on the floor to trip it up, no events
to pin it to; it just goes, and now winter has snuck up on us
like all poltergeists eventually do, like all misery does,
where we least expect it, in our homes,
like the ripeness of this pomegranate, of which
we will each only eat a negligible amount of ruby-bright seeds
and hope that the sharp taste will see us through this entire season

in which we will sit behind sagging decorations
and bright lights and pretend that we,
unlike pomegranates,
will keep as long
as the unknowable season
where everything will finally change.

Kaye Nash is a writer and teacher from Vancouver Island. She began her writing career while living in northern Taiwan, but now lives with her family in Canada once again, where she spends her days swimming in the ocean and reading Paulo Freire. She has had poems published in many journals including Mookychick, Lunate, and Anti-Heroin Chic, as well as in anthology projects from The Bangor, Teen Belle Magazine and Castabout Art & Literature. She is a regular contributor at Headline Poetry & Press. She can be reached at stapletonknash@gmail.com and on Twitter at @knashingmyteeth, or on her website: https://kayenash.wordpress.com.

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