First evening in Athens, a long good-bye
she said to her cousin and the fireflies.
It was spring; they had giggled and danced
barefoot under the moonlit sky, sung “Miss Merry Mack”
and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” to the beat
of their clapping hands and the whoosh of the tree swing.
She had trouble being still, her small, happy world, spinning,
making her dizzy with anticipation for tomorrows.
Another evening in Athens, and another long good-bye
she bids to her boyfriend on the front porch.
The evening is sweltering with the heat of summer.
She leans into him to acknowledge his goodnight kiss,
her head spinning with an impossible faintness.
She is woozy and bewitched by the still warm night air
or the long walk home from seeing Romeo and Juliet.
She tosses, turns to fall asleep, expectations overflowing.
Yet a new evening in Athens, and another long good-bye
she cries out to her mother–whose Bonneville, foremost in the line
following the hearse–somberly leads the way.
Time has stopped as she knew it–stands still.
It is like fall, the weather unpredictable: one day, sunny,
the next gray and foreboding, not to be trusted.
She is entranced by some wicked spell.
Unable to eat or sleep, she tosses, turns, and grieves.
Since then, she has known many fall evenings;
still, she dances barefoot, sings, laughs,
her head, still woozy and bewitched by warm night air.
She understands that there will one day come a
last evening in Athens, and a long good-bye
she will wail to the beautiful and lovely earth.
It will be like winter, cold and desolate.
She will sleep, be still, whether or not she wishes to.
©2013 Diane Landy