I Must Go Now

Where Words Go 

by Becky Dennison Sakellariou

Becky SakellariouPETERBOROUGH New Hampshire—(Weekly Hubris)—12/19/11—“Whenever it is time for me to leave a place, I dont want to. But I am also happy to be where I am going. This poem speaks to that, written in early October this year when I was getting ready to leave Greece and fly to New Hampshire.

The wild almond trees of Greece.
The wild almond trees of Greece.

“I must go now”

I must go now.
The edges of the leaves
of the new quince seedling

are already going brown.
I don’t know if it will survive
the winter I am away.

I trace the tough, mottled bark
of the trunks of fig, mulberry,
wild almond       remember me.   

The Hedge Hog cactus
points its furry green arrow
toward the afternoon sun

calling me to wait
just one more day to see
its translucent pink bloom.

The sea this afternoon
was more than the sea.
I sank into its deep black,

fishing boats, red, white, yellow
paint peeling, rocking,
listing through the surface of the water.

The sun was late to set
as if it, too,
couldn’t bear to leave.

I will plant more lavender
in the wild herb patch out front.
This summer, the thyme dried up, the verbena,

enthusiastically watered by Dimitri, rotted,
the rosemary wandered off to another spot.
This time it will be only lavender: French, Spike,

Provence, even Grappenhall, circled
by speckled grey and white rocks
brought up from the pebbled beach over the years.

When I return, it will be cold.
Night will come quickly,
I will close the shutters earlier,

start the fire, turn on the lights.
I will go to bed when the moon
has turned to its shadow

like it does tonight.
   Did you say
you wanted me to stay? 

Becky Dennison Sakellariou was born and reared in New England, but has lived all of her adult life in Greece. Of late, she has been “making her way home” to New Hampshire. Writing since she was seven, Sakellariou has published poetry in a wide variety of journals. Her chapbook, The The Importance of Bone, won first prize in the Blue Light Press (San Francisco) competition of 2005 and her full-length book, Earth Listening, was published in 2010 by Hobblebush Books of Brookline, NH. In 2013, Finishing Line Press (Tennessee) brought out her chapbook, What Shall I Cry?, which was followed by a two-year long collaboration with Greek poet, Maria Laina, for The Possibility of Red/Η Πιθανοτιτα του Κοκκινου, a bilingual edition of eleven of her poems, also published by Hobblebush Books. In 2015, Passager Books (Baltimore) brought out her art/poetry book, Gathering the Soft, a meditation on cancer illustrated by Tandy Zorba. Sakellariou’s latest book is No Foothold in this Geography. Sakellariou has won a number of prizes from individual journals and has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Anthology. “At present,” she says, “I am madly in love with my three grandchildren; you can find me either in Peterborough, New Hampshire, where I am endlessly amazed by the clouds, the snow, the trees, and the power of memory; or in Euboia, Greece, where I putter around my one acre amongst the olive, fig, almond, pomegranate, lemon, apricot, and eucalyptus trees, drawn by the senses and the mystery of place.” For a compelling introduction to Sakellariou's work, read her blog entry at "Off the Margins." (Author Head Shot Augment: René Laanen.)