Poetry 2017 Longlist, Ketaki Lolage

No More A Persephone

Ketaki Lolage

“More wine,” she says,
and the tender fills her glass.
The splash of the liquor brings back
the memories of unforgettable days past.

A year ago this day, she’d sat
in this very spot.
Puffs of smoke coming out of her mouth
In her right hand, her fourth shot.

Slain, vanquished, defeated,
she’d felt betrayed by Life.
Once beaming with great content,
she now couldn’t trust herself with a knife.

It was in that moment of despair
that a vow birthed from an epiphany.
To summon Destiny herself, she resolved –
To no longer play the trapped Persephone.

A battle against ruthless Hell ensued
She took every fall with pride
Walked out of the fiery pits of Hades
Tenacity emanating from every stride.

And now she muses at the glass
that once would’ve been filled to the brim.
A survivor of war and bloodshed,
the red no more makes her flinch.

“More wine,” she says,
yet knows when to say “Enough”.
Elixirs fade away, she knows.
“Get going when the going gets tough.”

Tall she sits – haute couture dress,
let-down hair and high heels
The girl who’d lived in the dregs last year
The woman who turned Fortune’s wheels.

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