Poem: “Bread And Circuses”

It was one of ancient Rome’s
greatest spectacles.

The military commander
who had led his forces to victory
received a hero’s welcome.

In front of him,
his chained captives
and the spoils of war.
Behind him, his armies.

Crowned with laurels,
the triumphal general
wore a purple and gold-embroidered regalia
that raised him to near-divinity.

Riding a four-horse chariot,
he held an ivory sceptre
with an eagle at the top
as the procession moved
thorough the cheering crowd.

Gold and silver coins
minted in his honour,
circulated throughout the empire.

I turn on the TV,
watch the Toronto Raptors’
homecoming parade.

Wonder if much has changed.

(Editor’s note: poet Shai Ben-Shalon, an Israeli-born biologist, examines current events in the Blacklock’s tradition each and every Sunday)

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