At the end of a small hall and up one
stairstep, its window overlooking
a still-used Roman road from days
when Plovdiv was called Trimontium,
blue-veined marble walls surround
my hot bath floor to ceiling, marble
also stretching to the walls underfoot.
I soak in a claw-footed tub, perfumed
clouds of steam modestly fogging gilded
mirrors installed by nineteenth century
nouveau riche building their chateau
against timeless Roman walls in that
birthplace of Alexander the Great and
the first of the Macedonian Ptolemy
pharaohs he installed in Egypt.
Cobalt veins twining luxuriantly through
the marble wrap about me as I recall
my francophone father’s softly muttered
sacre bleu! whenever he swore the rallying
cry of eighteenth century revolutionaries.
An American tourist, many could name
me a new sacre bleu; but Bulgarian
communists are long gone and today
visitors support the economy here, so
I fear neither ambush nor revolution.
first published in Poetry Atlas
also published in Illinois State Poetry Society
©2013 Bonnie Manion