“Like a windstorm
Punishing the pine trees,
Love shakes my heart.”
With apologies to Sappho
Laden with snow dumps, undisciplined branches,
entangled with sparking electricity wires, overhang the balcony,
camouflage the distant seascape,
plead to be pruned.
Earthquake cracked exterior, overwhelmed by its alpine girth,
thirsts for a coat of paint.
Underfoot, scattered brown cones slip and slide in a bed of needled slush-
wait to extinguish loneliness in the charred fireplace.
In his dream Pithea prophesized disaster, like Sappho’s pine, in a windstorm
He winds his rattling ute down the mountain road to his sister’s cottage
through acres of wild grasses, intimidated flowers and barren vines.
Here they sit at her worn wooden table to share a meal of filial memories –
salute their childhood with retsina,
recall the sapling pine she’d planted outside their village home,
the pine nuts she pounded to make bread in the war years.
He shakes at the thought of dismembering the rings of history
but in his dream Pithea prophesized disaster, like Sappho’s pine, in a windstorm
Loula S. Rodopoulos