Days of 2016
He’d been a sculptor on a small scale In a town south of Damascus. He’d worked in stone. His masterpiece, he said was a mother and child no bigger than this and showed his fingernail. The tools he needed were like the tools used by opticians, tiny screwdrivers little files; rubble, stone he could find even here in Athens, in this shabby neighborhood. Sometimes he mused in front of the figures, marble and white-eyed, on days when the museum was free statues larger than men but broken-limbed youths magnified with Time older by aeons than many who have died. His children, his wife were safe: praise be to God! But so much had been destroyed his life’s work lost. The Lion consumed all! Lion, he said. That’s what it means, in Arabic: Assad.
A.E. Stallings is an American poet who has lived in Athens since 1999. Her most recent poetry collection is Olives; a new volume is due out in the autumn of 2018. Her new verse translation of Hesiod’s Works and Days will be published with Penguin Classics in February. She lives with her husband, the journalist John Psaropoulos, and their children, Jason and Atalanta.
Editor’s Note: The caption of the image in the post thumbnail reads, “An Afghan girl recalls drownings.” Source