Περσεφόνη in between

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Vicky Tsaconas

king of death, curly hair and eyes
as black as salty olives,
you abduct me at dawn
when I am dreaming of carousels
and strawberry ice cream,
filch me away to the serrated tip
of Πελοπόννησο −

mummified home of my
ancestors

in your grotto tomb we celebrate
our wedding – κολυβα chiffoned
with icing sugar the colour of my dress
and bejewelled with your gift, silver almond earrings,
while my mother − saint’s relic head

in arthritic rock hands
threnodic
nine days
in acarpous garden

you nurture me on pomegranate pearls
of living flesh
before I return to day
when she plants cos lettuce,
picks broad beans
and wild artichokes for her only child

as her basil sweetens the air
I journey back to our peninsula cave
we sup on liqueur decanted
by νυχτολουλουδο and lap in tempo

© Vicky Tsaconas

published in N. N. Trakakis (ed.), Southern Sun, Aegean Light Poetry of
Second-Generation Greek-Australians: Arcadia, 2011

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