At the turn of the century we watched Maximus
the Gladiator, a feelgood epic made for a society
believing it was King of the Hill.
Not Rome. Us.

Strength and Honor was our mantra
not only how we saw ourselves
but how we truly believed
others saw us.

We were all Maximus, he who embodied
everything we believed of America
fighting for the Republic
long dead in the reign of Commodus.

We, like the knowledgeable Roman crowd
seeing, recognizing and embracing bravery
a block buster epic, hooking on to something
swimming in our culture at that given time.

And then on a beautiful September morn
planes flew over New York
igniting decades of war as we sauntered, looking down at the nape,
then angrily at each other, but not inward to ourselves.

Instead, we have perfected the art
of looking at but not in, tik toking attention to our selves
though at others, not with human kindness. but
through the lenses and filters of our phones.

Wishfully thinking of ourselves as brands,
necessary to interact with the world
and with one another through small screens
texting. Swipes.

Having Fallen far from strength and honor
we now openly lie, to ourselves and others
without shame while half of us will no longer believe
what we see with our own eyes.



About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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3 Responses to Maximus

  1. Lauren says:

    Very well stated. We are in a sad state of affairs.

    Liked by 1 person

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