I’ll leave you now so you can read

Loula S. Rodopoulos

i.m. M.D.R. 1908 – 1986

Perched on hearth’s edge we sip mountain tea in silent companionship
as flames sculpt the olive tree stump   slowly reduced to charcoal
like her black dress & scarf tied over her grey hair & pallid face
mother in law   Maria lived through poverty   hunger   wars   miscarriages
birthed six live infants   laboured on the land   harvesting   grapes   olives   corn
gathering wild vegetables   cooking   baking   spinning   weaving   cleaning
Eau de Cologne a luxury   Should widows wear perfume?  she’d asked after I bathed her
minimal primary education   reliance on the spoken word   unlike my pen that rekindles
village experiences – the procession of goats that paused & stared at the stranger reading
in the square   disheveled farmers who asked Why do you write?

a contrast with Australian female friends & colleagues who asked Why don’t you write?
they’d read accounts of marriage in a Greek village   written by Beverley Farmer &
Gillian Bouras   both foreign wives    who hid their books & pens from their respective mothers in law
Beverly writes that when Sofia entered the room she slid the book she was reading under her notebook

Gillian records that Aphrodite scolded her for reading & writing
flames extinguished   we stare into the glowing coals   until Maria announces
I’ll leave you now so you can read    a life of reading & writing fired & sculpted by her understanding

Loula S. Rodopoulos
17/04/2012

One Comment so far:

  1. Morgan Gabrielle Gabrielle Morgan says:

    Loula, so glad you write so that I may understand the Greek way. How important it is for women to express. Great writing I enjoyed this piece immensely. Gabrielle.

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