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.