Shera Hill

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Mirthios, Crete: Easter 1986

Two young white goats followed us to the pension
where we met travelers from around the world,
prepared dinner in a communal kitchen
drank Retsina
the boy from Australia talked about AIDS
how he thought it would depopulate the planet—
Armageddon from a kiss

The next morning the young goats awaited
faithful companions as we walked the medieval mountain village
into a street so narrow, that with outstretched arms our fingers touched
the sheer lime-washed walls the goats scaled and
bounced between
crisscrossing each other like pinballs
crazy adolescent joy palpable
as wine drunk laughter, sunlit air

Straw effigies
an Easter tradition
the little priest’s
excitement as he told us,
“Come, come to the Easter service,
midnight, tonight”

Us at midnight
icy wind outside our pension’s thick walls
travel clock shining
our bed so warm, yet
“We can sleep the rest of our lives—but never this…
never this…”

Huddled outside with other travelers
we peered into the ancient church
golden glow incense-infused
standing room only with believers
one candle flame passed between
until all held the fire
as they returned to their homes

lifting our eyes
we saw trails of light
wind down the hills
of mountainous Crete
straw effigies burning

Judas vanquished and
Christ rising from the ashes

Shera Hill grew up in California and has written short stories, poetry, and novels, since she was a child. She recently retired as a library branch manager and has published short fiction and poetry in such journals as the First Literary Review – East, Everyday Fiction, and Ancient Paths Online

Photo credit: “Goat in Crete” by André Mouraux,

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