Hilary Sideris and the Winds of Italy

Hilary Sideris and the Winds of Italy

Olea Europaea

Considering the microscopic
scales that let your silver-

green, shimmering leaves
retain water in desert sun,

your fruit so fraught with
energy it fueled clay lamps

in Greece, I feel more squat,
gnarled, tolerant of heat,

admire without envy
your thousand-year life span.


Winds of Italy

La Tramontana blows tra monte,
between mountains, female in a land

where wind, vento, is male.
La Bora bears down from the Adriatic,

makes harsh Slavic sounds. Dante
called il Grecale the slave wind

under which the whole peninsula
shivered. Il Levante dumps rain,

hails from Gibraltar, Lo Scirocco,
from the east in Greek,

brings waves of homicidal heat.
Farmers most loathe Il Libeccio,

the Libyan, which stirs up squalls,
stings skin like the Sahara sand.



Today we talk about babies.
We both had them, but separately.

Now it’s their turn. We don’t say so.
You ask come si chiama quella cosa

where they sleep? The cradle rocks,
I say, the crib stands still. Ho

capito. You walk away, come back:
What do you call the toy

that spins over the crib?
I take a stab—mobile?

Is that your word for furniture?
Once I smiled & waved

at strangers’ bambini on trains.
You always have & will.


Fare le Feste

to greet someone with joy

I like the way you
talk about your day

when you’ve seen
Mabel & Naomi,

a young pit bull
& her owner on

the elevator up—
the part where Mabel

disregards Naomi’s
words, won’t take

her paws off you,


—by Hilary Sideris

Copyright © 2021 Hilary Sideris. All Rights Reserved.

Hilary Sideris’s most recent book, Animals in English, Poems after Temple Grandin, was published by Dos Madres Press in 2020. She is a co-founder of the CUNY Start program at The City University of New York, where she works as a professional developer.

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