By Areti Georgopoulos

I held my children’s hands when they were small, and in a moment of ease, unaware, they let go.

They stepped into flight like an effortless wind.

Like rockets, they shot forth, self-propelled, fiery with intention.

Now, years later, they sit still. Next to my mother, they are quiet, as if in the presence of a bird that lands nearby and could easily fly away.

They listen, attentively. Her throat seeks to speak but cannot find sound.

Fledgling, my fear

Hovers, holding its breath.

A silent wound, long from healing, imagines the relief of a scar.

At night, when I lie still as undisturbed water,

Thoughts descend like birds in my mind, coming to rest, coming to roost, doing something so ordinary, instinctual, I almost miss it.

I close my eyes to hear them better.

In that moment, the cacophony of birdsong becomes music, a gorgeous chorus of pitches and affectionate notes.

I remember myself a child, lost and certain at once, young yet old.

The birds take me to the beach, where the tide swells.

The memory is alive, the water whooshing in my ears, the waves pulling at the shore, aggressive then restrained.

I wait for the feeling of expanse to flood me.

For the waters to rise in a

Heavy tug, like tentacles tethered to the seabed

Even though they have no anchor.

I return to my mother’s side, to her stillness. Between us, currents of emotions flow.

Her eyes are alive with unspoken words. She blinks at me slowly, deliberately, like an elegant crane bending its neck, and I sense her determination, unfailing, encouraging me, as always,

to take to the sky and soar.

Areti-Georgopoulos-150Areti Georgopoulos is a published poet who represents employees and the occasional employer at Harmony Law Firm, which she founded in 2012. She focuses on unemployment insurance law, disability accommodations in the workplace, wrongful termination and discrimination claims pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Minnesota Human Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and the Minnesota Whistleblower Act, among others.

What inspired you to take on a creative hobby? I have always been a creative writer, but creative writing has taken a back seat during my law career. When the pandemic hit, I felt a desire to return to my creative voice. I took a class at the Loft Literary Center and wrote my first poem in years. It has been a welcome renaissance. 

How does having a creative outlet help you in your law career? It inspires me to think creatively in my law practice. It affords me a fresh perspective on my work. It grants me a sense of calm and happiness that makes my daily routine more pleasant.

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