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Exquisite Corpse - A Journal of Letters and Life

Euro Morning One on Kapodistriou the Street
by Sam Abrams ||
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7 GMT 03 January 2002

After poking up last night's fire on the the hearth
Making a thermos of coffee and drinking the first cup
And giving the dog permission to jump up on the bed with Barbara

I go out front to check the street
First I let out Arabes, the old next door dog
All his family dies, the street takes care of him
I open his gate, put scraps of yesterday's dinner in his plate

Go up the street with the broom and sweep his shits into the gutter
The old grandma "giagia" (pronounce yayA
In the neoclassical house three down
(Son often visits from burbs to help out)
toothtless mavrophorousa (black wearer)
comes out as

I am sweeping
Pretty easy with the welladapted old tools
the giagia who died out of our house left behind

I finish the sweep
Lean on the old broom
she greets me and starts to explain
It's hard for Arabes he can't go too far
She starts the all his family died story
I assure you I know I share the historia
We know we know
(Tempted for a moment to say to her
something like me too
Lotsa stuff
Not so easy for me any more)

She tums up the steps, I up the street,
Choruses of Happy New Years
Happy New Year
Good wishes
Go with the good
Likewise   Like

At home I stash the broom and pan
Behind the iron alley gate
On pebbled path leading to our orange lemon trees
[The old lady's roses reviving one more spring]

Next down to the corner fournos (furnace)
A sunny morning the smell of the fresh bread
Rising up the street

In front of the boulangerie
he son of the house overloading the delivery van
with the 50 kilo sacks to be dropped
at stores and tavernas

Inside jokes about the Euros
And serious concerns
Please pay in drachmas euros no good

She takes a handful of eurochange from the drawer
She's right in my hand it's too light
the penny way too small

The sourdough not ready yet?
Madame yells out back
Baker show his face we're permitted to pass

Into the oven area
He opens it peeks a small round is ready
Just what I want

One half kilo 65 Cents American
He spills it out
I carry it juggling hot home on the wrapping paper

We eat the hot crust off all around
We'll get a black bread when it comes out this aftenoon
and we all go out

Barbara and the retriever go for a good long walk
Along the bay to the Venetian harbor and back
I bike downtown check email and the net

Sunny at one end of the street Raining on the other
Lot of winter rainbows here this year

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