Obstacle to what?

I recalled the signal’s greeting
as you sighted us from four miles away
when we returned after many years.

You recognized the ship
with the blond hero’s name
-seed of the sea with a landsman’s fate.-

We brought you no more than stories
of distant places, memories
of precious things, of perfumes.

Do not seek their weight upon your hands;
your hands should be less human
for all we held in exile;
the practice of touch, the struggle of weight,
exotic colors

you should feel in our words only
this night of our return.

Obstacle to what
the mast that told you
of our return?

Translated by Edmund Keeley in ‘Four Greek Poets’, Chicago Review, Vol. 14, No. 1 (SPRING 1960), pp. 77-88.

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