Some twenty years ago

an old woman in a northern Greek province,

a stranger to me,

blessed me as I walked by her window.

“May the Mother of God watch over you”

she said, and her warm voice

and its wounded tone

completely filled me.

As I walked away from her window

I felt her carrying me on her back

and I heard her whisper to an angel

“Give me strength.”

When the road began to dip

we approached the bus stop

and I felt myself walking on air.

I held on to her to keep my feet grounded

and I can still hear her apron

flapping in the wind

like a black sail on a tall ship

carrying Theseus home.