Thursday, October 02, 2003

copeland morris KALAVRITA

The inhumane persuasion of history, dark uniforms
Ruthless voices, machine-guns; as flesh torn away
Exposes bone...and bone is covered by earth.
Above the town on the hillside, the common grave,
Relentless memory, suspended as so many clouds,
A never forgotten absence of fathers and sons.

The guest, arriving by accident here, steps down
To words of Greek, into shade, a cafe outdoors.
In moments, the hotel clerk has bid him welcome
Checking passport casually, tactfully placing
One finger under the photograph, casting up
A smile with unexpected, pensive sorrow.

A hush within the shrine, a woman in mourning,
Draped from her ancient brow, a fine black lace,
The sight of men and boys being marched uphill,
No further than the little hill by the town.
And all she can see, as season replaces season,
Reminds her of ships, abandoned at their moorings.

A clear solidarity, being with them in the ground,
Remembering that they are the last of their issue
Behind the door that passes into the grave;
And all the darkened lamps on monumental pendants
Hang from the ceiling, suspended as so many clouds
Above the hillside of fathers, brothers, sons.


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