Pomona lived in an enclosed garden,
in an apple orchard with a stone wall
that guarded her and all the growing things
flourishing there in her life-giving care:
flowering plants, fruit-bearing trees, vineyards
with green grapes and plump, purple ones, too –
roses white, yellow, red, and lavender,
and a Spanish bloom called complicata.
She never opened the gate to her garden,
for she preferred to live alone, until
Vertumnus, who could change his shape, came
to entertain her with his disguises.
When at last he stopped pretending, Pomona
loved him with all her heart for who he was.
It’s true that Echo was once so in love
that she followed Narcissus everywhere.
Her body wasted away and vanished,
longing for the boy who didn’t want her.
She fell under a curse and lost her words,
so she could only repeat what he said:
“Leave me alone!” he shouted, and she said,
mournfully, alone. He cried, “I don’t love
you!” She whispered, love you. He ordered, “Go
away! Don’t come back!” But she prayed, come back.
Her body, not the boy, came back to her.
Her soul reawakened in her own flesh.
Overjoyed to find herself whole again,
Echo learned to speak seven languages.
Jane Beal, PhD is the creator of more than a dozen poetry collections, including Sanctuary and Rising, as well as three recording projects: Songs from the Secret Life, Love-Song, and The Jazz Bird. She also writes fiction, creative non-fiction, and literary criticism. To learn more, please visit http://sanctuarypoet.net.