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unearthed

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4

I stand on waves
of earth – χωμα
nurtured by blood-
-and-bone
of my ancestors

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to look at water

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to look at water
    when I open (up) my heart
        – is to fill it
            with the stillness

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Ψυχοσαββατο − Soul Saturday

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I wait for my mother and her sister outside church. They go to every ψυχοσαββατο. To commemorate our dead. The night before, Mum prepares κολυβα a mix of boiled wheat, bread crumbs, walnuts, sesame seeds and sultanas covered by a layer of icing sugar and decorated with slivered almonds, puts the προσφορο she has bought from the bakery next to her bag so as not to forget it and writes a list of the dead.

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Ωδες

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1 the songs my mother sang me

are the songs I heard at birth:
my mother’s lament for her still-born child –
the one before me

are the songs I heard in my sleep at ten:
her grief for her mother
left behind never seen again

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Περσεφόνη in between

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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 Πελοποννησο −

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the damp seeps in

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in this room
faded lime green paint is chipped
touched-up photographs
remind me of the origins of my name

ikons blessed at the village church
and a makeshift καντηλι
behind a hand-embroidered curtain
keep vigil over me