Sea Daffodils

A. E. Stallings

Spring 2019

How the tattooed day-trippers nearly trampled them like flotsam, not blossoms,
How it was illegal to pick them on Santorini, yet matrons gathered bouquets of      them to their black-clad bosoms.
 
How beside the seaside parking lot, in a moon-bleached waste,
They seem both dissolute and chaste.
 
How they danced in bridal white on the beach, as awaiting the sacrifice
That will unbridle the snorting winds, if it suffice.
 
How briefer than youth they are, more fragile than plighted troth,
And only pollinated by the hawk moth,
 
The dithering moth that only flies when the winds are nearly becalmed.
How in winter they turn inward, self-embalmed
 
In their papery layers of onion-stingy bulbs, jar-like, Canopic.
How older than any epic.

A. E. Stallings is an American poet who has lived in Greece since 1999. She has recently published a new verse translation of Hesiod’s Works and Days (Penguin Classics), and a new collection of poetry, Like (with FSG).

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