Martin Robertson

Now and Then

Greek Folk Song

All the girls get married, and likely lads they wed,

but for me, pretty Janet, the sick man on his bed.

I sit by him and chatter—not a word he’ll say.

I bring him food, I bring him drink—he pushes them away.

I spread him blankets, pillows—“Sit up, your poor old wreck.

There.  Lie down again.  So.  Here’s my hair, my neck,

my silver body.  Touch me, though your hands are dry.

Hands seek flowers in April, hands seek coolth in May,

hands seek a pair of little breasts, two lemons on a tree.”