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A poem inspired by the Greek Island from Impolite favourite Amy Barone

Creative Commons kdask


I knew those days were numbered —

riding on the back of a motorino at midnight, racing the moon,
as the Ionian Sea’s turquoise cover lit our way.


I knew someday I’d leave Europe and August breaks.
I’d bid addio to my freelance journalist job,
become more responsible and vacation in less exotic locales.

So I chose to savor every minute in Zante,
birthplace of poet Ugo Foscolo,
precious time with friends from Milan,
like Fiona, a schoolteacher whose mother had roots to the island.


Greek poet Homer celebrated Zante in The Iliad and The Odyssey.
He claimed its first inhabitant was the son of the King of Troy.
Venice ruled and protected the island for a spell.
A pilgrimage to Navagio Beach’s 1981 shipwreck marked our nod to history.


Channeling Artemis, we explored the island late mornings,
found beaches far from the hard-drinking English,
where we hoped to spot Zante’s famously protected sea turtles.


We whiled away afternoons with Greek gods,
who served up fresh grilled calamari and wine so pure,
hangovers became a thing of the past.


Doing nothing was everything.
Staring into the sea became our pastime.
On Zante, I paired up with Adonis,


an ecologist who lived year-round on the island.
He wore his broodiness and dark, wavy hair real well.
Fiona partnered with Yanni, and we danced our nights away.


One afternoon, en masse, we set sail for a nearby island,
home to a sole monk.
Made the beach our kitchen and bedroom
until awakened by a flock of sheep taking a walk in the rising sun.


Leaving Zante for Milan wasn’t hard.
Most dreams have an endpoint.
One summer, Greece’s heart took me prisoner.



Taken from Amy's chapbook Kamikaze Dance

Amy Barone

About the Writer

Amy's poetry has appeared in CityLitRag, First Literary Review - East, Gravida, Impolite Conversation (UK), Maintenant, Philadelphia Poets and The Rutherford Red Wheelbarrow, among other publications. She reads at venues in New York City and Philadelphia and belongs to PEN America Center and the Brevitas online poetry community that celebrates the short poem. She spent five years as Italian correspondent for Women's Wear Daily and Advertising Age and is now a board member of the Italian American Writer's Association, co-organising and promoting their monthly readings in New York City. 


Amy's chapbook, Kamikaze Dance, was published in 2015 by Finishing Line Press. Her first collection, Views from the Driveway, was published by Foothills Publishing.


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