I've written many poems about living on Greek islands, partly because I lived on Greek islands for eight years of my adult life but this one is different - this one talks about the Turks dominating Greece for 500 years.
She sits on the mountain that is her home
and the landscapes slide away. One goes down
and then up to the monastery. One drops away
to a winnowing ring and a farmhouse where a girl
and her mother are hanging the laundry.
There’s a tiny port in the distance where
the shore reaches the water. She is numb
and clear because of the grieving in that world.
She thinks of the bandits and soldiers who
return to the places they have destroyed.
Who plant trees and build walls and play music
in the village square evening after evening,
believing the mothers of the boys they killed
and the women they raped will eventually come
out of the white houses in their black dresses
to sit with their children and the old.
Will listen to the music with unreadable eyes.
from All of It Singing: New and Selected Poems (Gray Wolf Press, 2008), copyright © 2008 by Linda Gregg, used by permission of Graywolf Press.