April is National Poetry Month: Greek-American Poets – Georgia Kolias

The Motherland by Georgia Kolias

I left the motherland

It was a Friday night

And for all intents and purposes

I was in San Francisco, California

United States of America

But as I emerged

I crossed a threshold

From the motherland into exile

Never to return

To that fertile land lush

With pulsations of

My mother’s heart

The heart of Greece

For below the gurgling of her intestines

The sound of her blood filtering

Through our placenta

Her voice resonated

Her tongue forming my

Sense of sound

With each swallow, tastes of

Honey walnut feta oregano lemon

Hardwired my taste buds

Her fingers tapping my back

In rhythm with the bouzouki and κλαρίνο

Taught my feet to dance 

And through her eyes

Gazing longingly into the pictures

Of family 6756 miles away

She instilled in me sadness

An undying experience of


Before I left her body

I was already schooled

In the language of loss

Her grief for the motherland palpable

In each gulp of amniotic fluid

In each labored breath and sigh

In each reluctant step on new soil

She left the land and

She left me

Wandering this strange territory

Of divided loyalties

Searching for all time and zones

Without a map for the

Road home

Meet the poet Georgia Kolias

Georgia Kolias is a California-based writer currently shopping her manuscript, The Feasting Virgin, a culinary novel featuring a quirky Greek-American foodie who struggles to reconcile her religious beliefs with her emerging sexuality. She is also seeking publication for her poetry manuscript, The Motherland, a three-generation family biography which uses poetic text and original photographs to explore the themes of diaspora, homeland, and the evolution of family. She holds an MFA/MA in Creative Writing. She regularly blogs for The Huffington Post, and her work has appeared in the Advocate.com, The Manifest-Station, Role Reboot, When Women Waken, and various anthologies. Georgia is represented by Rachael Dugas at Talcott Notch Literary Services. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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