“Great China.” This is what the Han called Rome,
A legendary empire built around
A legendary sea. So far from home:
There only is the brightest glory found,
All milked from the mundane. Details astound
That normally would make a toddler yawn,
And images with fictions stand well crowned,
Twice as suggestive as Homeric dawn.
I look across my California lawn
And see a Tuscan vineyard, bound to yield
Memories of the empire that is gone.
Historic debts aren’t easily concealed.
My lunchtime wine is what I wait upon.
Soon I shall toast Great China with the Han.