CONCRETE MYTHS


We have explained about Knossos in the car,
so she is keen to see the palace.
(We have not mentioned the Minotaur
or Daedalus and Icarus). She likes
the cats, the peacock and the cicadas
and appears not disappointed at all
by Arthur Evans’ concrete. Maybe
she knows the concerns of grown-ups are
more illusionary than substantial –
and a young woman, posing like Betty Boop
in high heels and sharp yellow dress
by an amphora, would prove her point.

Knossos is on the edge of Heraklion’s
southern suburbs. Just down the road from here
is a pristine Ottoman aqueduct
built across a narrow, river valley.
Swallows and swifts nest in the post holes.
The dingle is filled with bougainvillea,
jacaranda and pink oleander.
We walk up to a church, open and full
of silver – St Irini’s – and a playground.
She runs to the swings. There is no mention
in any of the guidebooks of the aqueduct
or the saint – never mind the nesting birds
or the valley abounding with flowers
or the safe place to play. Under
an ancient, encompassing olive tree
with labyrinthine branches, she flies high.

 

 

 

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