You've come to reap the blessings of escape,
the sun, the sea, this whitewashed village street.
The country you left is a subtle measure
making everything you see exotic.
The locals welcome you into their shops.
You know they'll like you if you keep on smiling.
Cops and waiters look at you askance,
underneath their silence endless questions.
You can't explain their little roadside shrines,
why amid Aleppo pines you're crying.
The landscapes you once knew, the ocean's pounding
memories inside your head expanding.
Blessed be the writer now returning
to his room for another midday nap.
Don Schofield is a poet, nonfiction writer, and teacher who lives in Thessaloniki, Greece. He was born in Nevada, raised in California, and holds an M.F.A. from the University of Montana. He has lived and worked in Greece for more than 30 years. His poems have appeared in many important literary journals, and his latest book is In Lands Imagination Favors (Dos Madres Press, 2014). An earlier version of Be an Expatriate for a Week appeared in the online poetry journal, Poeticanet. The Greek translation is included because the Greek language is integral to Schofield's daily life in Thessaloniki and bears on the way the poet imagined the experience.