The Marbles

Acropolis of Athens (photo my own)

Sometimes gaps tell the story –

a Scottish nobleman

one stifling summer   

something led to another and before the city

had woken up crates of treasure grew legs

and descended the fortress

years passed

six thousand islands fished

the same flag from the sea

people without a country gained a country

survived earthquakes and smashed plates

while they waited to fill the marbles’ empty spaces

now air-con fights quivered heat

at museum doors

and on the topmost floor

waits the temple of gods  

the mosque  

the brothel

a giant heap of rock being climbed

by ant-like bodies never dreaming

they could call it theirs

and on a different island it rained and still it rains

queues snake through Bloomsbury

as pilgrims pack into a long, dim room

to see displacement with their own eyes

someone sighs

Published by Ruth Beddow

Poet, writer and heritage professional based in London, UK.

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