Morning in the Village
Donna J. Gelagotis Lee
First, the farmer selling vegetables
in baskets strung astride his mule
wakes me as the morning sun releases
dew and the sweet aroma of thyme
begins to dissipate. Then the women
who pass outside the house chat
as they return from the baker
with warm loaves of horiátiko psomí
or from the milkmaid with eggs and
news, their voices rising from the street.
I can smell the sea air warming. I can feel it
laced with salt. I can feel the rhythm of a country
underfoot. I can almost hear the lyre on the wind.
Every step becomes a note in the string
of words I mouth imperfectly
as I begin my trek into the village,
where women keep shop near the platía
and we exchange our greetings
as I collect bottles of water, Greek
crackers in plastic wrap, toilet tissue,
the news in English, just ferried in,
along with the tourists, from Athens.
All the way back, I glance into
the limewashed open-doored
tourist shops selling T-shirts, film,
strappy cotton dresses, and re-
productions, on vases, of an ancient life.