Roman Remains

by Angela Prew

Why did the Romans build so high?
Was it in defence? The search for water
gushing from those mountain springs?
Or just because they liked to look
down those Roman noses
at the peasants labouring in dry fields below?
Why did they build their steps so steeply?
Little fellows, so we’re told, unlike us today.
Fifteen old friends trail stiff joints
tap our sticks up, up,
still further up, breath rasping from tired lungs
until we stand , land patchworked far below,
among tall pillars, ancient stones,
theatres and nymphaea, roads
still marked by chariot wheels,
and we have our reward.


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