A Woman Prepares Herself for the Day

Where Words Go

 by Becky Dennison Sakellariou

 Becky SakellariouATHENS Greece—(Weekly Hubris)—2/20/12Once I imagined a man sitting on the side of a bed in the morning watching a woman get ready for her day. This is the poem, in his voice.



A Woman Prepares Herself for the Day


He watches her, stunned

at how she knows what to do.


That she knows which jar of cream

to use on her neck, which for her face.


That she knows which to use first,

and how her eyebrows must be.


That she knows, walking back and forth

between the bathroom and the bedroom,


which mirror will tell her what she wants to know,

which mirror helps her do her hair best.


That she tucks her hair behind her ears,

it falls forward, and, unfazed, she tucks it back again.


Her rings go on last, after the watch and the bracelet.

How does she know this? how can she do it


the same every morning? who taught her?

The lipstick goes on after the hair is done.


Why is that? how could he ever be a woman?

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.)