What To Do When Banished to the Underworld

Globes of them  appear at farmstands 
                  and in the supermarket, 

crowned and shiny in their red 
                  leather corsets; scored, peeled 

back, baring the teeth of hundreds 
                  of days and the darkness they drop

early. The red muscled fruit inside your own 
                  chest tightens as soon as winged flocks 

trace their coal-black routes southward,
                  as soon as bedroom floors creak and door 

hinges swing with every daughter's departure. Sure,
                  they come back in time, sporting gauge earrings, 

dramatic hair, a new tattoo on their arm; a way 
                  of talking absently or as if you aren't really

there. In famous stories of descent into some 
                   underworld, there's a dark wood in which one

could get lost, a boat at the river or an opening in the earth.
                  Next time,  you'll be the one to heed the cue of

the season. You'll pack good shoes, tinned food, a warm blanket,
                   stacks of books to read through the rest of winter.

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