Today's poem is by Jennifer Franklin

My Herculaneum

When I arrived, I thought I knew how to live.
I saw my future as clearly as new frescoes
On stone. What I did not have, I made do without—

Or invented: the trompe l'oeil mosaic in the summer
Triclinium for a real garden. The songs of birds
From the nymphaeum's painted trees. Long expert

At knowing the world through the words of others,
I thought there would be time to live. Before her
Diagnosis, my feeling of fortune, ostentatious

As patrician villas, tempted disaster. Like other
Citizens of Vesuvian towns, I feared disaster would find us
But could not bring myself to pack and leave.

Solace comes seldom—as rare as a preserved section
Of fresco, framed in rough wood by archaeologists
To safeguard it still. That's how my insides look now—

Ruined expanse of smooth stone, graffitied with residue
Of memory, caught under glass, visible if the light is right
With no glare—fragmented, constant, red.

Copyright © 2015 Jennifer Franklin All rights reserved
from Looming
Elixir Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

Support Verse Daily
Sponsor Verse Daily!

Home    Archives   Web Weekly Features    About Verse Daily   FAQs  Submit to Verse Daily   Follow Verse Daily on Twitter

Copyright © 2002-2015 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved