Hilary Sideris

Moreton Manor, Chiara, Calliope: Hilary Sideris

Moreton Manor

We honeymooned in the Bee Gees’

hometown. The manor’s owner


served us kangaroo, her manner

matter of fact, medium-rare. She said


the ferry to the reef, the reason we were

there, no longer ran. It’s all bleached out,


they shut it down a year ago. A better

planner or English speaker might have


known about the ferry, winced at manor

for bungalow. More Than a Woman


played incessantly the summer I changed

bedpans at Miller’s Merry Manor


for five dollars an hour. I was sixteen.

Years later, old but newlywed,


I left Down-Under plans to you.

Your English was so-so.


Calm but taciturn after your first

caffé with Matteo in years, you slip,

call me your first wife’s name—


light, clear. I know you better

than to inquire tonight. We drink

Grey Goose, which may result


in rage. My sister teaches ethics

at a lectern with an AS button.

Redbubble sells The Supreme


Gentleman, the Santa Barbara

shooter’s selfie t-shirt to red-pill

incels who troll the Manosphere.


Tell me in daylight what he wants.

The Roman aunts & Chiara,

for whom, at forty, he’s a boy,


blame me. He calls our one-

bedroom on the parkway

la casa di mio padre.


She came from Chios, but steered clear

of the water, sat on our redwood deck

unsmiling in her heavy black.


Named for the muse of eloquence

& epic poetry, she rarely spoke,

said I have many compliment the time


Mom asked if all her folks were short.

Pappous was dead, but she enjoyed

Dad’s dive into our chlorinated pool


in long red trunks, royal blue stripes

down his flanks. Ligo means little,

some. She cooked dolmothes,


moussaka in the annex over

our garage, watched Merv Griffin.

I never saw her with a book.


Open the light, honey,

she said. If there was cake,

she’d take a ligo bit.

Hilary Sideris’ poems have appeared in recent issues of The American Journal of Poetry, Barrow Street, Bellevue Literary Review, Okay Donkey, OneArt, Room, Salamander, and Sixth Finch, among others. She is the author most recently of Un Amore Veloce (Kelsay Books 2019), The Silent B (Dos Madres Press 2019), and Animals in English, poems after Temple Grandin (Dos Madres Press 2020).