Demeter of the Ex-Urb by Devon Balwit

Demeter of the Ex-Urb

No blade, but a bract, rasped edges
ranged towards danger, tip observant,

mistress of spathe, spikelet, glume
and peduncle, I stand my ground,

a Demeter of the ex-urb, a goddess
of the small plot, my fool, a darting

hummingbird, my heckler, a crow,
croaking from the shadowing,

my green fuse stutter-stepping—
paling to the point of guttering,

barbarian weeds already creeping—
and then re-flaring, fierce in a campaign

of ripped roots, a flailing of the blunt
trowel, me blinded by brow-sweat.

(after Cristina Troufa’s painting Espada)

by Devon Balwit

Editor’s Note: The complexity of the images and nod to classical mythology gives this poem weight beyond that of a simple narrative, yet the final line reminds the reader that we are all only human.