Latin Class

Because it was not cold, we wondered why
Mother Assumption said to clear the aisles
and jump, with oomph, in scissors girls,
before we would again read Caesar's wars.

Perhaps she hoped to jolt us from our plenty,
heart scald us to be mindful of that army,
bound by a vow to Empire, lamed
by the iron weight of their weaponry

how they climbed from tattered tents
into hazed air that smelled of oracles,
the frayed cord of their muscle stretched
tight around their star-crossed lives.

She hoped at last that we would comprehend
on the third leg of the campaign, how
they heard the death knell in their battering,
tried to read the minds of their divine.

Assumption thought the world was in translation
while we were listening only for the bell.

Siobhan Campbell

If you've any comment on this poem, Siobhan Campbell would be pleased to hear from you.