The Historian

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The Byzantine is falling
Like it always does
And Guernica is always burning
On the pages and postcards and walls

And the phone keeps ringing
And the envelopes steadily grow
And the history man
In the glow of his lamp
Will wait for the moment to go

In 1912, beyond this balcony
There were factories and dirt lanes and cows
Picture the people with their sole pair of shoes on
Dreaming of days such as now

And his daughter keeps calling
And his wife just once a year
And the history man
With pencil in hand
Will wait till it all becomes clear

In Egypt they mastered the art of embalming
And the kings are still asking him why
As he peers at their perfect and leathery faces
Their every last inch itemised

And on birthdays, another new memoir
From the hands of a hesitant child
And the history man
Will retire to his den
And come back when it all becomes past

~ Brendan Bonsack

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