This Was Pompeii

By Dar Williams

This Was Pompeii

Mortal City

I am thinking about the woman in a century of peace,
On a bright mosaic she is washing on her knees,
And she looks up at the black sky beyond the mountain tall,
She says, 'Oh good, the rain is finally going to fall today.'
This was Pompeii

And everyone has memories of the night that melted stone,
The neighbor's nightgown, the screaming on the phone,
And the tired man at the station says, 'We can't tell who's alive,
All we ever know is that the tourists survive.'
'Tra la, tra la,' they say, they say,
'Let's Go Pompeii.'

And I think about Pompeii when I feel an end is near,
Just before the rain & eveyr time you disappear,
And I think about a teacup, suspended & half served,
And all the scholars know is that it's perfectly preserved.
'Oh, oh,' that's all, they say,
'This was Pompeii.'

And as for my on kingdom, not a table leg was charred,
I simply lost my kingdom, 'cause I held it much too hard,
Once I had a sadness, the sadness turned to trust,
The trust turned into ashes & to lawyers & dust,
A century, a day,
This was Pompeii.

Photo: Dar Williams

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