Street-market at Ptolemaida,
Western Macedonia, Greece
Remember the market-place that spring day?
One of those brilliant, bee-heavy mornings –
hectares of poppies and camomile meadows
dancing away from the road, and in town,
arcades of market-stands, vivid with merchandise:
lingerie trimmed with red plush and red satin;
luscious aromas of sun-ripened strawberries;
the sharp tang of mint, oregano and thyme;
feta as white as the trousseaus of brides,
contrasting with ruby-dyed carpets and slippers;
syrup-drenched pastries and casks of black olives;
phials of rich oil glinting gold in the light;
fibrils of saffron – costly and fine;
carmine of rough Macedonian wine.
We fingered embroideries, scoffed
punnets of berries, and wistfully laid the red
undies aside – mindful of those who might
eye them askance – before boarding the bus
with our flasks of cheap wine.
for Janet L.
Jena Woodhouse is the author/translator/co-compliler of ten book and chapbook publications in various genres, including five poetry titles, most recently The Book of Lost Addresses: A retrospective (Picaro Poets 2020).