Stephanie Lester
3rd place, Senior Category (15-18 years)

Persephone’s Letter

I ate of the fruit
To steal myself away
Immortality is too long
To stand beneath the sun

Tempt me.
The most beautiful shall eat
The bravest shall but steal
Those golden apples
Are valuable to all

Up above I see,
The weakness of the flesh
Let me sing you of the darkness
An apple and a war

The punishment of Tantalus
It prowls along the streets
For Athens has its beauty
But marble can’t feed rags

Once a human eats an apple
The seed will lodge and grow
They will become a topiary
Their children living on

The hunger of the topiary
When refused to grow
Those streets are much darker
Than any I have tread

A bowl to mix,
A fire, a stick,
That rusted spoon.
That last red seed

Yes, I am sincere,
That apple shall keep you far away