Hera wrapped herself in wild lygos,
hiding from great Zeus
before their marriage.

In this afternoon musing,
my grandmother
has bound herself similarly with branches,
proclaiming her virginal connection to the goddess,
protecting her marriage bed,
insistent, fierce as usual,
here throwing over her sisters
and their equally fierce
desires for her husband’s phallus.

Meanwhile in my memory,
I watch her dig up beds,
weeding then planting
as her Dalmatian pushes her,
thrusting himself
in following her around the foundational
plantings ringing our home,
equally fierce and determined.

Turning around
to observe the back of the south side of the house
next to the kitchen door
and the Dining Room windows,
I am struck by how
she continued to rescue
ratty and hopeless antique furniture pieces,
and marvel at her vigorous hours of sanding,
her hands leaning into the work,
with her entire body
stripping the latest end table
chest or chair,
taking everything off,
opening up the wood
to its bare essentials.

She scraped these pieces of wood
as if in a hunger
to transform ordinary pieces of furniture
into a worthiness of her dwelling place,
a home favored by the goddess herself,
stripping these furniture pieces,
insisting they be worthy
of Hera’s chaste tree,
Vitex agnus-castus,
the chaste tree of marriage.