"Virgin and Child with Saint Anne," Leonardo da Vinci, 1510, WikiArt photo.
“Virgin and Child with Saint Anne,” Leonardo da Vinci, 1510, WikiArt photo.

Part 3: Greek Families in Need

By lantern-light they came, families in
Need, harvests poor, winter months, no
Bread for days, they sought charity of
Attic farms. Whilst we had enough for
Ourselves, we gave what we should, they
Would not suffer hunger and cold alone.
How do we live without those things we
Cannot live without? Until reminded by
My children of their father’s teaching:
Timé, acreté, kleos.* From babes comes
Hard-learned wisdom. Tonight we share
Hearth fires, my house is theirs, our beds,
Clothing, we are one people, one family.
Greek mothers do not abandon each other.
We slaughtered the best lamb, not to gods,
But to honour each other, safety of our
Husband’s safety, strangers in need. Friend,
Apologies are not needed. Fates visit rich
And poor, alike. During war, privileged are
Taken as slaves, weight of abrading iron
Shackles, their children never seen again.
Tonight as you pray in privacy of my bed-
Room, I walk amongst winter stars, our
Children safe, fed, and bedded. Grief
Shattering my soul, I was unprepared for
Your tears wet upon my breast. O! Heavy-
Armed we are, not with spears or swords,
But burdensome responsibilities. In sleep
You hold me, as my older daughter, dire
Circumstances fatigue my heart. When you
First arrived, leading your child by hand,
You were only two. Truth now wills out.
Shifting in night, you must sleep on your
Side, for you are months with child. Thus
Are recollections penned on papyri,
Women and Affairs of Greece. 

Poverty and destiny, account of families helping
families in need during war-caused turmoil, now
distant memories, yet not forgotten.

* Honour, Greatness, and Fame.

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