– Kolimbithre Beach, Paros 2010
The Aegean blues and beckons.
My son is reading a Stegner novel off my home shelf,
his lover basks in the Greek sun, my husband dozes.
They are here with me in the place I have dreamed of
ever since I first read the glorified stories
of Alexander the Great – his life and conquests –
stories that blurred in a child’s eye
with those mother told of my dead father –
a hero in his own world and time, treating the wounded
in war and in the slums, speaking their language.
I decide to swim to the buoy. At first it seems not far,
though distance is inclined to unfurl. Destination
reached, slowly I make my way back – on a slant,
compensating for a strong, off-coursing current.
At least one blue eye has kept watch –
old enough to know how
life succumbs to sudden shifts, its wave-nature
– arch and spill, roll and frill,
and in-between, the lovely lulling interludes.
As I emerge, a casual Have a good swim?
Moments later, turning a page, he finds
a folded piece of paper, a prescription
written in 1995 for Roberta, my mother
– dead soon after –
who cared not a wit for travel, but would go anywhere
to be with us.