Tetchikhan: Welcome Centennius
Wagon wheels and horses hooves
Stirred up dust on poorly maintained roads.
Fields stretched for miles on end.
A dull and boring trip to say the least.
Birds and bugs the only entertainment
Flying about from branch to leaf,
Seeming to follow this entourage then fading away.
An occasional animal would furtively glance
Then scurry into a thicket without turning back;
Scared of a train whose journey has been weeks.
Centennis jostled from side to side in a rickety carriage
He rubbed his brow while reading a missive.
Things were not going well in Tetchikhan
The Senate was restless and needing answers
About the grain that served the poor and his taxes
Rumors were running wild as to a purpose.
What is this plutocrat up to?
Speculation about starvation was setting in.
Agents of the pilfered grain reported the heist.
They informed Centennius of the highwaymen
And how these ruffians threatened their lives.
There was no news on the black market,
Or cargo stowed for distant harbors.
It was a conundrum as to where it disappeared
Surely, his grain would show up one way or another.
There was too much money to be ignored
Greed would rear its ugly head, as too the informants.
A whiff of stench tainted the air
Centennius cringed from a smell
He knew all too well
He looked out the window to get a view.
A distant smoke rose above the treeline.
Illegal aliens from various lands
Cleared out lots; determined to settle in
No regulations or standards were heeded
They just threw up shacks and made a stand
Daring anyone to throw them out
A lawless mob whose time is at hand.
Centennius was mere miles from the city proper.
A fervor spread upon news of his arrival.
A spectacle was planned by Killian's confederates
They ushered women, children and the old
To form a gauntlet alongside the road.
They waited for Centennius' entourage to pass them by
Dressed in rags they held out bowls with doleful eyes
Making eye contact with this plutocrat
Who didn't pay his taxes and the bread it provided.
Centennius was dumbstruck by their display
How he pitied these unfortunates
Who depended upon the fruits of his labor.
The situation was more dire than he knew
Despite all of his misgivings, the reports were true
The city gates opened wide waiting for their benefactor
Its creaking could be heard from this freakish silence.
A silence that remained until the gates closed behind him.
Saturday, February 27, 2021
Topic(s) of this poem: fiction,cities,corruption,story