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Solitary Sedition in the Suburbs

Solitary Sedition in the Suburbs

Solitary Sedition in the Suburbs

by Kevin Annett


Near to my own journey’s end 

came thoughts of Vesuvius and a lonesome, hoary rebel,

One too much like me:


That other timeline finds him ensconced Emeritus in a neat Pompeiian garden,

spared crucifixion but not the ennui;

Children gone, memories dimmed, the wine stale.


Most nights he sits alone like that, gazing at the slopes

from where he and his army once challenged the world

and met an unexpected fate.


“We don’t martyrize guys like you, Spartacus” spoke a knowing Crassus. 

“There’s no need. Make the harness gentler and the beasts will stay in line.”

And the Roman patrician’s words proved true.


Some nights are worse than others for the former incendiary.

Then he’ll wander the streets and try stirring those who stood alongside him,

his leaflets festering the town, proclaiming the dream to the dreamless.


Pale morning brings no new recruits, just tired bones,

and another facial crease declaring from the mirror what he cannot admit:

that his time is over, and with him, the Cause.


Still, the dream fulfils him as others cannot,

even as snug and pensioned Thralls take mirth from his effort,

deriding the one who would still die for them.


“You may not remember, or budge from your cushioned stables” barks Spartacus.

“But a seed from me will one day sprout in the few who cannot be comforted.”

The bondsmen shrug away the odd prophecy and return to their cable TV.


Two new eggs lie in the birdsnest in his garden:

Whether designed or random, they wait like Spartacus and me,

Unrequited by sympathy or phrase.