At Saalburg

Romans were here

in these forested hills

lived and killed

built and loved

and left their shoes

fibulae spear-heads

 

Their trash they threw

down disused wells

water run dry choked

with the meaning

of civilization

one by one we retrieve

nails horse-bits broken

leather thongs those

second-century things

whose uses we can only

reconstruct

 

Romans are gone

and here I peer into

my own disused well

pondering muddy trickle

wondering what have I

to throw down this well

what have I to save

polish preserve present

like fine Samian ware?

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