If They Knew of Pompeii

Fabrice Poussin

Among forgotten hieroglyphic treasures
scattered on floors of ancient stone, sealed with
the sweat of enslaved workers under the whip
they too are buried with invincible pharaohs.

Tall above the modern dwellers, a Parthenon
resists winds so strong Socrates had to die
its marble like ice for so many visitors
on a photographic pilgrimage for their elders.

Forsaken by centuries of death and dust
an arena where last breaths entertained
stands as a testimony to what may have been,
a successor to great dynasties.

The explorer may walk the distance of a great wall
pondering such a structure into deep space
contemplate the far away plains
where no intruder dares to venture any more.

High above the sea they thought of an Eldorado
the safety of a gilded empire in mysterious clothes
sacrificed the innocent to appease the Gods
high priests, would-be masters of another sun.

A tower of steel still stands on its supposed graveyard
it overlooks fields which saw too many sudden ends
for well-meaning citizens on a quest for a new freedom
upon a promising summer for simple joys. 

They sleep now, these monsters with signatures
carved profound like incurable scars on the souls of the meek;
it is good to remain quiet, to listen to the breeze
for all is finally still now above the memory of the oppressed.