Annette Volfing – Persephone


Of course there are issues.

Not every one could hack it here –
though I suppose
most don’t have much choice.

In some ways, I don’t either,
though I’m not badly placed.

You certainly don’t want
to be right at the bottom, not here.

But I don’t get involved in that;
don’t have much to say
when those outside want to know
how the whole system hangs together –

But it’s the small things that cause friction:

‘I don’t know what to feed you any more.’

It’s true, I’ve come to prefer a bit more spice –
though it’s always lovely to see her,
and the big wide sky and the sea,
and to sleep in a single bed again, like a little girl.

But when the days draw in and all my bags
stand packed again, I have to remind myself
not to speak of ‘going home’.

She weeps quite enough as it is.

Annette Volfing is originally from Denmark, and is the Professor of Medieval German Studies, and a Fellow of Oriel College, at the University of Oxford.


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