Now that I am here, it’s clear.
What I wish for you, Lydia,
is that you will be
washed up naked and alone
on the shore of the Phaiakian’s island,
not in this white space
with locked doors
and that blank-eyed doctor armed
with a pile of sectioning papers
a holster of pills, a syringe.

What I wish for you now, is that
the Princess washing clothes by the estuary
will look around for a moment,
notice you huddled exhausted
under a tangle of seaweed,
will gently wipe away the jetsam
and guide you to a warm welcome
in the great hall where old timers,
warriors, women and children
all know how to listen and
hold the twist in a tale.

What I wish for you now, is
strength to stand upright, to find
at your feet the broken threads
of your true story,
and with your voice rising,
spin anew the substance of your real wars,
shipwrecks, monsters, and gods lurking
on isolated islands and cliff edges.
You will take shape
in the space between us
will become the ship itself
bearing you all the way home.



Angela Howarth Martinot has retired from teaching exciting, inspiring adolescents, and only teaches exciting, inspiring refugee women now. She is also composing poems again. Some have been recently published in magazines such as The North, Tears in the Fence and Magma.

Note: Phaiakian’s island is the island where Odysseus told his story