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
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.