/ Poetry

Pompeii

Pompeii

He shelters inside, where
rain won’t wear him down,
or human touch disturb him.

You’d almost think
the wall was still there
supporting him from behind,

he sits so firmly on his haunches –
back braced, feet planted
squarely on the ground.

If it weren’t for the tensed neck
and shoulders, the head
bowed into upraised hands,

the doubled up, nearly foetal
position, you’d assume he was
simply waiting, sunk in thought.

How endless his exposure,
naked and frail, to the absent
unimaginable scale of disaster.

Is he watching, or hiding?

His face is nearly covered
by his outspread fingers,
but not so that they shield his eyes.

Pompeii-2

Pompeii
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