Today's poem is by Michael Snediker

Roman Elegy

There were bees
and tall grass
by the river Tiber.

The twins had returned
to the river
to found a city.

It would become
the world.
The city could have

only one name,
but there were two of them.
Two names.

The story of worlds,
the story of twins—
rueful wondering

what would happen
were the other name

How to decide
whose name, how to decide
whose world,

and what happens
to the one
who loses.

Romulus grew lost
in the history
of the world he founded.

His story, in coming years,
grew indistinguishable
from the world's stories.

Whereas Remus
a storyteller,

told about the bees,
the tall grass,
a baby made of tar.

Remus grew lost
in the history
of his own stories,

the way his twin grew lost
in the history of the world,
the city, the river of bees.

Copyright © 2005 Michael Snediker All rights reserved
from Beloit Poetry Journal
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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