To Poulaki Mou (My Little Bird)

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TO POULAKI MOU (My Little Bird)*for my daughter returning from Greece

All night, under the soft, amber lamp I dream of you. I dream of pomegranates and olive trees, of boats sailing the Aegean with Macedonians leaning through the centuries. I voyage past Sparta and Laconia, stopping at Delphi Intoxicated with the ancestral home of Apollo and Aphrodite. The evening stretches thousands of miles toward you as I sit drinking Retsina in the arguing coffee houses, where the dark-skinned Greeks talk of politics and everything melts into the steamy sun outside.

In the dream I look for you everywhere; in the inexorable heat; past the heavy bazooki music, and in all the whirling distance I keep reaching for you, my bright-feathered bird. I am lost in the anxiety of your returning- Fear swims beneath my skin as I edge up near the stars wanted to guide your ocean crossing. Your plane drills through a sky that’s black and quarrelsome, and I am engulfed in that darkness as it brushes me.

So, here, with morning still distant I write verses for you, (a divine gift for difficult dreams and lidless days.)

My moon-tree daughter, homeward bound, in this night’s next day you will arrive, and I, my arms overflowing with flaming tulips will bring you home.

For now, sleep in the sky, that dark-faced, lone prairie, but sense, someone, candle-lit like an alter, hovers near.

Patricia Kelly Gangas from her third book of poetry-These Places of Light. I had been studying in Athens for six months.