The household servants stood in a file along the vestibule
Awaiting the master of the house to make his entrance.
Word was out that parliament has scheduled a session.
A fervor in the domus to get the place ready for business.
Centennius greeted each attendant with a smile and a gift
And they in turn bowed or curtsied to their thoughtful master.
"Inform my wife that I'm home." he said to the steward.
"I'll be in my office, if anyone calls, and send for Vesputin."
Centennius's desk was already stacked with reports and letters
The master sighed from the magnitude of correspondence.
How he missed his country villa miles from Tetchikhan.
Away from this city and the politicians who are always conniving.
He stood in the archway to admire the courtyard.
The sun shone on the garden; his wife's pride and joy.
He took in a deep breath to appreciate its flowery essence.
But instead, got a whiff of the slums' open sewers.
Centennius shook his head trying to shake the stench.
He wiped his nose and muttered, "The stables smell better than this."
"Darling, how was your trip? " Aurelia whisked in with open arms.
She hugged her husband and kissed his cheek., "Do you need some rest?
Many people are inquiring when they can expect an audience.
I told them to give you a day or two in order to get your bearings.
People are excited about this year's parliament. So many things to do.
I've already got your itinerary. So many parties. And the dinners!
I don't know how we're going to fit all of these people in."
Centennius looked upon his wife with patient exhaustion.
He could see traces of her youth when she was a beauty.
How could she stand this place with all its noise and confusion?
But she loved city life. The country wasn't for her.
A contention that caused many a fight in the early years.
An understanding was made once the children grew up.
That she would stay in the domus and him at the villa.
She maintained a presence in the social arena.
Taking notes on intrigues and power plays
She was the eyes and ears of House Centennius
There was no better player than Aurelia.
Centennius sighed, "Is there any word on the grain,
Has it showed up yet? The last missive I received
Is a couple of days old. The tax has to be paid.
What are the senators saying about that? "
Aurelia smiled and clasped her hand around his neck,
"Why don't you get some rest and then we'll talk about it.
I know you sent for Vesputin. But I told the steward
That he can wait. I want to spend time with my husband.
Your bed is prepared so you can take a nap.
Dinner will be ready in a couple of hours."
Her voice faded away as she left the room and turned the corner.
Centennius knew his wife all too well.
Nothing good has happened since her last letter.
He looked upon his desk and shook his head.
And then walked through the courtyard and to his bed.
Sunday, March 7, 2021
Topic(s) of this poem: cities,fiction,politics,home,family