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A Postcard from Greece


Hatched from sleep, as we slipped out of orbit

Round a clothespin curve new-watered with the rain,

I saw the sea, the sky, as bright as pain,

That outer space through which we were to plummet.

No guardrails hemmed the road, no way to stop it,

The only warning, here and there, a shrine:

Some tended still, some antique and forgotten,

Empty of oil, but all were consecrated

To those who lost their wild race with the road

And sliced the tedious sea once, like a knife.

Somehow we struck an olive tree instead.

Our car stopped on the cliff's brow.  Suddenly safe,

We clung together, shade to pagan shade,

Surprised by sunlight, air, this afterlife.


Alicia E. Stallings



Modern Poetry Association.  From Archaic Smile,

University of Evansville Press; originally printed in Poetry;

reprinted by permission of the author.


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