I had wanted to get well away. And I had.
With no calendar, and there being no newspaper
on the island in a language I could read,
I didn’t realize it was Christmas until three
old women in black dresses came (my first
visitors) to my door. Well, not quite all the way.
They stood outside in the rich, rigid sunshine
until I saw them waiting by the crumbling rain
urn as if grouped for a tourist photo. I
walked over. The middle one held out a basket
with bread and wine, olives and some goat cheese.
I bowed, further than I meant to, and then
they nodded to each other, to me, turned
and walked carefully back along the stone path.
I stood there, prepared to wave, until they rounded
the ridge and began down to their village, not once
looking back. That night by my fire, flush
with their fine gifts, I fell asleep and dreamed
the languages of the body.
Copyright © 2005 George Manner
About the poet