Authors and Poets
Authors and Poets

Photos used with permission from the Academy of American Poets

Last updated:
September 5, 2018
Lori M. Cameron, editor

Odyssey – M. Getchell

Spring 2003, vol. 7, no. 1

Your plane must be taking off about now.
The note you left said I might have to throw
Out the milk. But the wine you placed on
My porch was honeyed clover.

With Hadjidakis as backdrop,
I slice the onion you left,
Add bay laurel to the sauté,
Garlic to the lamb.
Following your recipe,
I have cut chives from your garden,
Beheading purple asterisks of bloom.
After dinner I shall read
Durrell or Kazantkakis.

In a Levantine café, you sit staring
At your glass, aching, heavy-lidded.
You wonder if your Tidewater
Lawn needs cutting or watering,
If the magnolia leaves have fallen yet:
Parched, brown. You order Retsina;
Bouioukia music plays.
Someone dances on a tabletop.
The caryatids keep their stance,
Hold earthquakes in fragile balance.

Somewhere on the Peloponnesus a boy is
Chasing a girl around a black and gold vase,
Chitons fluttering to Dionysian flute tunes.
But it is white light of Sounion that will
Transfigure you, toward Persephone,
Aegean ambiguity. At any moment,
Statues might move; icons may shift.
A goatherd could emerge from behind
A rock, feet cloven.

You journey on cutting edge of risk;
My pilgrimage is inward. I remain
In my Tidewater kitchen, ensconced
In green reverie. Herbs from your garden
Burn in my pan like incense.

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