Dear Demeter—Dear Earth (where Hades is the non-custodial parent)

First     in the dark world of a crying child 
he will think you ruined his offspring

He’ll say “milk spoilt” and “mama’s boy”

Soon enough     he will hate you and hold hostage 
all the love he can wring from
a small     terrified     being 

Then     when the shining child smiles
and the damned underworld is seen
dank and relentless    for what it is
he will see that you invented fire

He will see you kindled     with your body
an illuminated being         a soul devoted
a bright likeness of the father     

He will love you    He will bless you

He will try to         make you His

Copyright © 2017 Heid E. Erdrich. This poem originally appeared in The Rumpus. Used with permission of the poet.