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Red Anemones from Marathon

in Hermes Street, Athens 

Drifting through the drizzle 

along Hermes Street, towards Aiolou,

where the Messenger will meet

the street named for the winds,

I stop to buy a bunch of red anemones

from Marathon, delighted by 

the sepals flaring round the purple

inner crowns, the silken domes

encircled by coronas of stigmata, 

cilia of sage and violet

ringed by ivory areola. 

I could see them dancing

on the ancient timvos, in my mind.

I could see us on the road

to Marathon, my son and I,

one morning with a blue

heroic sky, and all his life

before him; mine half spent,

yet still a singing lyre,

a vessel for sweet fire;

the two of us imbued with morning's

buoyancy, our spirits free,

responsive to the spring as two

alizarin anemones.


Timvos - burial mound, as seen at Marathon, site of a bloody battle between Greeks and invading Persians in 460 BCE. 

Anemone - derived from the Greek anemos, meaning ‘wind’.

Aiolus - a mythical figure associated with the winds

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).

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