• rachealjosephpoet

Happy Birthday Liz

Summer 1976


We had plans my school friend and me.

We were going places, doing things,

we planned to be rich and famous.

She was going to marry Marc Bolan, and

I would be happy for David Essex to just hold me close.

But, before that we planned our first holiday. Summer 1976.


Two young girls on a Greek island, an island not yet spoilt by mass tourism.

We roamed the palaces where ancient Greeks once lived,

disturbed the dust on cobbled streets their sandaled feet had trod.

'Kalimera Yaya,' we said to grandmas sat on doorsteps.

They then invited us to watch as they sat tatting.

A silver shuttle pinched between thumb and forefinger,

whipping back and forth, creating tiny knots.

Knots that grew to make a perfect web of white silk lace.


In beach cafe I practice phrasebook Greek, 'theo coca cola baragalor.'

The drop dead gorgeous waiter smiles, with eyes that say 'come to my bed.'

I return a smile that says, 'you must try harder,' and I wiggle my bikini-clad backside, knowing he is watching as I walk away.

Our childish pleasure exploring market stalls.

Selling giant apples, tiny cups of coffee, and honey sweet Baklava.


And then, that oh so glorious holiday romance,

with soon to be conscripted Vangelis.

My very own perfectly formed green-eyed Adonis.

Our hands could not let go, our lips in constant search of pleasure zones.

bodies intertwined on sandy beach. We watched the sun set, rise and set again.

A brief encounter.

The joy of which, when I look back, still makes me smile.

I'd like to think that he smiles too, when he remembers that summer 1976


(Racheal Joseph 2019)

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