"Odysseus Seeing Laertes"
It's getting dark, and he's still in the yard. By now
She'd be stewing over the steamy kátsaróles
She has to reheat but glad that he's finally home.
He's inspecting his favorite tree, the sour quince.
All day he's been hacking away at carcasses
Of frozen chickens, piled up on his chopping block
Like little hecatombs of smoking entrails.
The sour quince has put forth pink and white petals,
Like the flakes of sawdust stuck to his blood-stained work boots.
As when I was a boy, standing away from the shade,
And he would turn and see me, and call me over,
Singing, from the trees, that line from the swallow song:
Come here, little bird. Come here, come here, don't go.
George Kalogeris' book of poems, Camus: Carnets, is based on the notebooks of Albert Camus. He teaches at Suffolk University.
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