For Christos Georgiou
In the dark long ago I heard the howl. Upridge, whorls of sound above Mad Mare Hill. Like nostrils sniffing an unwanted scent I could turn then from that contour of night, let ear and eye shape a day’s bright chant. Then in brilliant sunset gleam I saw one trot across a field, teeth clenched, jaw firm, locked like a sentinel spotlighting the pitch-black for an uprising. Dead, the rabbit knew nothing of the power in that jaw. Or perhaps, in its way, in its final frantic fury, it knew all. To rise up. Once you told us the story: how they shot any villager who tried to feed a family on greens picked in the field of Papoulia. From the bough of one tree they hung the bodies, then dumped them in holes of hot, parched earth. At night, you said, keen to the scent, a pack came to feed. It tore, ripped corpses from the dirt. By morning half-gnawed, tissue-flecked bones had surfaced like snapped riggings of sunk ships. And whenever you inhaled the sweet leaf of that tree, you could not keep its stench out of your throat.