Obscure Romans

OBSCURE ROMANS
by Eric Chaet

Which of the inhabitants of the Roman Empire
when Rome was at war with the world
& ruled by a paranoid elite
that imagined itself entitled to the fruit of others’ efforts
never established reputations?—
& so were lost to history
as trees’ buds, a season’s seeds, stems
foliage & canopy
grains of wheat & barley, olives, grapes, cotton, wool
generations of cattle—milk & beef—
maybe feeling abandoned to cruel Fate
thru civil wars or long or brief lives of grim toil
coping til they couldn’t cope any more—
or fiercely maintaining a constantly attacked integrity
& delivering compassion & skillful service
among the few aware enough at least
of who they were
& capable of accepting from them
what they were capable of delivering?

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Picture: The VRoma Project

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Also posted @ Dear Dirty America (USA).
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