Ovid, Exiled

by Linda Bamber

Up and down this unfamiliar road
the hills changing shapes as I drive
so the moon has to rise
again and again as they do…

which reminds me of Old Age
which I can also
sometimes glimpse from here. See,
and fear. See and fear.

The older I get the farther back
I go at times like this
for company. Ovid, exiled,
wrote scathingly about the undercultured oafs

he lived with in Tomis;
flattered and wheedled,
but never got to go home. Cicero,
proscribed, rode around Rome in a litter.

Go ahead, he taunted Caesar’s soldiers,
stopping on purpose to annoy them. Pulling
back the curtains
pointing to his grizzled head,

I’m Cicero, he said. Give it your best shot.

Published on October 28, 2015