“Bathsheba,” Henri Fantin-Latour, 1903, WikiArt.

We knew her as Mitéra, elder mother, sage
Who appeared on sunlit rocks overlooking
Two merging streams. She was neither oracle
Nor priestess, yet we approached her for
Guidance, offerings of fish, fruit, bread,
She shared with petitioners, none should
Go hungry, bites taken for herself. Thus,
Infirm and injured gathered at Mitéra’s
Place of sight, elevated rocky fold, water-
Bearing pool, reflections of clouds and
Sun, within clear depths she gazed, deific
Images, her mind on soaring wings.

At secluded glen, dozens with heavy hearts
Awaited Mitéra’s calming presence. Never
Did we question from whence she came or
Went. Indeed requests, presented on prayer-
Ful knees, were about ourselves, nor did we
Stare directly at her face, lest mortal hearts
Were radiance-overwhelmed. “What is that
You seek child?” she began, voice soft as
Gosling down. “What recourse for our farms
And fields?” I asked of drought-barren Attic
Lands. “Look within for answers,” she
Responded. “True needs are fulfilled.”

Glancing at sun reflecting water-bowl, light
Touched my mind, images, words received:
“Well, home.” Lo! I knew this place, old ruins,
Laurel-overgrown marble pediments and steps
We ignored, unfit for growing wheat, stone
Slabs plow impeding, meager place for shaded
Mid-day meals. With my parents shared, such
Revelations I had seen, pointing to fragment
Of fluted marble column. “Beneath this spot
Welling water waits,” I stated to condemning
Sun-worn faces, earth beneath sandaled
Feet parchment dry.

Alas! Abandoned by all, I dug alone, shovelfuls
Of dust and broken stone, knee deep nothing
Found, Yet I wondered how laurels thrived when
All around wither-died. Evening came, followed
Night of blistered hands, dawning realization:
I had dug a well. Shovel clunk on marble slab,
From its veins water flowed, cool-clear, ankle-
Deep, welling upward, stone washed free, hand-
Cleaned, in bas-relief, face of Mitéra recognized
At two merging streams. From this well, life-
Sustaining water rose, pediments and steps
Exposed, ancient temple entrance found.

“The Bath,” Henri Fantin-Latour, 1892, WikiArt.

Next morn, I was awakened by voices calling,
Mitéra had disappeared. Sadness reigned her
Glen, no wind to rustle leaves, such stillness
In dank air. Night vigils by torchlight, we
Camped-prayed at folded stone, reflecting
Pool sand-filled. Yes, Mitéra had cured this
Sun-wounded land, merging streams winding
Across Greek farmlands, yet we had lost
Guiding maternal spirit, ancient goddess of
Healing founts we discovered. From marble
Temple fragments, monument to Mitéra erected,
Tearful sorrows streaming, to divine presence
And counsel, we wished her farewell.

Life-flowing streams merging, Mitéra offered her drought-relieving
guidance. Afterwards, streams separated, goddess disappeared.

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