Sunday Poem


The sea engulfed a sailor in its depths.
Unaware, his mother goes and lights
a tall candle before the ikon of our Lady,
praying for him to come back quickly, for the weather to be good—
her ear cocked always to the wind.
While she prays and supplicates,
the ikon listens, solemn, sad,
knowing the son she waits for never will come back.

by C.P. Cavafy
from Collected Poems

translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard
Edited by George Savidis
Revised Edition. Princeton University Press, 1992