David Bircumshaw

An Old Story

The Emperor sent me into exile
because the Court Ladies
no longer favoured me.

I tried to appeal
but all I had was a curt

note of dismissal.
You are no longer

one of us, it proclaimed.
Ruminating, far from Rome,
in my Pontic shack

where the rodents nibbled
at my dwindling stocks

and barbaroi threatened
daily with their stones

I mulled my lost causes
and looked for consolation
in the night sky's

ever-rising constellations.