We know from the title of "Persephone, Falling" that Persephone falls (wow, what a shocker), but what leads to her fall is the fact that she has become isolated from her community. She wanted to be different from everyone else, have the prettiest, most unique flower all to herself, and as a result, she was too far away to be saved (or even heard) by anyone.
Persephone deliberately isolates herself from her community because she watched too much Barney and has a childish desire to be special.
The speaker of the poem is right: Persephone should have been willing to give up her desire to be different for the sake of playing it safe.
Lust only makes a cameo in "Persephone, Falling," but it's really the background for a lot of the psychology of the poem. We're talking about a girl coming of age, here. There are bound to be some desires at play. Hades is mostly painted as a lusty monster, but there are a few hints that Persephone is perhaps feeling a wee bit frisky, too.
Hades is scary sexy—he represents the intimidating appeal of lust to the young Persephone.
If we read the last two lines literally, it's just a rehash of a tired old wives' tale: that fleshly desires or lust will ultimately lead to doom.
We could have just as easily said family, but "Persephone, Falling" is really all about mothers and daughters. Dove is trying to reconcile all the thoughts and desires she had when she was a child with all the fears and anxieties she has now that she is a mom. In the poem, Persephone is a daughter longing to be free of her mother's overprotection, while her mother longs to keep her safe, innocent and childlike.
Persephone's desire to distinguish herself from her mother chases her right into the arms of a dangerous man.
Demeter's real struggle in this poem is not how to keep her daughter safe, but how to let her go.
Time moves quickly and slowly. Anyone who's ever taken a calculus class knows that. In "Persephone, Falling," we see how Persephone is overly anxious to grow up, while the mother wishes she could make time stand still. The title also reminds us that everything is happening in the present—right now. At the same time, the poem reminds us that everything we do is influenced by what happened in our past.
The mother is stuck in the past, wanting to stop her daughter from experiencing the passage of time and the danger and heartache that accompanies it.
The mother's advice is actually dangerous advice for the future. Girls should be bold—not meek.