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Xarpo: A Sontina by Mary Christine Delea

Xarpo: A Sontina

by Mary Christine Delea

Xarpo was the Greek goddess of autumn and the harvest


Just one of the Horai, seasoned like Auxo

and Thallo, it is Xarpo who ripens

your bok choy, cabbage, parsnips, and apples.

Dull compared to others: Artemis, Nyx,

Hecate, et al, but without her we

starve during winter, and no pumpkin pie.


And what would autumn be without the pie?

Yes, spring and summer, Thallo and Auxo,

are needed, but until food is how we

can eat it, who cares? Eating food not ripe

is just as bad as starving. Those Fuji apples,

beets, squash, potatoes—full of heartened nicks


and bruises, unripe? Nix them. Auxo’s apples will kill.

Thallo’s pot pies? Still no. We need Xarpo, drab and chill.




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