Poems of the Week

Pompeii Up Front

by Ruth S. Baker

“A well-preserved frescoed ‘fast food’ counter is among the latest discoveries unearthed by archaeologists in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii. The 150 or so thermopolia, or snack bars, dotted across the city were mostly used by the poorer residents, who rarely had cooking facilities in their home, to grab a snack or drink. Typical menus included coarse bread with salty fish, baked cheese, lentils and spicy wine.”
—The Guardian

The busy paupers of Pompeii
Frequent the snack bars every deii
And grab some salty fish and lentils
To gulp in their unfurnished rentils.
Forget the beauty of the frescoes:
Bereft of Walmarts and of Tescoes,
They’d eat, without the thermopolia,
Probably worse and surely slolia.