I held this yellow potshard with
A fresco of saffron gatherers at Santorini:
Their nubile bodies swaddled in silk wraps,
Tiny fingertips gold with spicy crocus.
How could they predict a caldera spilling
Lava down Atlantis, up to a cerulean Aegean sky?
No statues smiled the way they smiled
In Thera before the yellow
And red and blue blended.
After that came Internecine years
Until they were reborn
In the cusp of California
Girls smiled in Santa Clara, the Valley.
Boys walked slowly towards the setting sun.
Will the smiles of the children burn to ash
To praise beak-nosed warriors
Bodies ripped in stone?
Where are you, you gently smiling saffron gatherers of Santorini?
Katherine V. Wills is an English professor at Indiana University/Purdue University, Columbus, In. Her poetry has been published previously in Flying Island and she has worked with Reservoir Dogwood Poets and many south central Indiana writers.