Poem: A Poor Sort of Tourist

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A Poor Sort of Tourist

From inside the ruins,
you can see the city that survived,
that grew long after these ancient walls
became history, a tourist attraction,
a spectacular monument to the power of neglect.

Your eyes are transfixed,
less on the grey stones that surround you,
than the color beyond,
those who remembered to live,
a poor sort of tourist,

but that has always been your nature,
to look so far ahead
that you miss where you are.

And so you turn your eyes downward
to the place of gladiators and lions
and imagine the frothing cries of the watchers,
wondering, as you always do,
what they saw, and what they missed.

About this poem

Sometimes, when I am feeling uninspired, I just wander through my pictures until I find one that grabs me, and I write to that picture. This was one of those days.

My mother used to tell me I was always so busy planning that I missed the now. She was probably right. That is something that life beat out of me a decade or so ago.  I live in the moment today, in a way I never would have thought possible when I was younger.

The picture was taken at the Colleseum in Rome.

Tom

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