Indigent Line

Frederick Pollack

Towards the end, in Rome, in the Senate
(there were still senators, though they were all
Christian by then), addressing
the crimes of the Bacaudae
in Gaul ( – ex-slaves, proto-serfs,
the last few freeborn farmers, unpaid legions),
a senator got up and said,
“You ask why they rebel?
They rebel because you’re cruel.
You have always been cruel.” But the rest
was rotund, gorgeous, full of
myths and references
to now quasi-mythical triumphs,
and Christ of course, and everyone applauded.
It’s easy to imagine a similar speech
today, about some sudden awkwardness,
or even an ongoing “problem” as long as
it isn’t under the radar or over the top,
freezing though technically housed, eating catfood.
“I am so glad when night come.”

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