The Girl and the Kouros/ prose poem by David Stuntz

She serves with skill at the small café in rocky hills above

Naxos’ port. She opens the retsina with care, exposing

its pine-pitch aroma. Then comes the salad topped with black

olives and feta. She moves with Hellenic grace among

the hillside tables.

A rocky path leads to a marble ledge. Twenty-five hundred

years ago stonemasons struggled here to cut free a suitable

monolithic block. Sculptors began their arduous task. In their

minds was an archaic god: a boy with an enigmatic smile

standing straight and tall. But there must have been a fault

in the marble’s grain. Or a clumsy apprentice.  Only a 

weathered slab remains today. 

We imagine the girl sorrowing for the fragmentary god to be.

And for the apprentice, most likely her ancestor.


First published in Westward Quarterly.

David Stuntz was a poet, storyteller, avid hiker and dog trainer among other vocations. He was also a WWII Navy veteran and rose to second in command of a Destroyer Escort. David was a graduate of Harvard University, class of 1942. He passed away in December, 2022 at the age of 102.

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