At the Canberra Museum’s Roman Exhibition by Valerie Volk

Among the lofty statues –
gods, consuls, empresses –
who loom above the marveling crowds,
glass cases show the treasures
of daily life in ancient Rome.

Here I find my entry
to their bustling city life.
A tiny object, centimeters long,
a block of ivory, its top
a small carved face, with eyes
that gaze serenely into distances
beyond the gaping viewers.
Theatre ticket, says the plaque,
shaped like a herm,
head on a pillar, probably Italian.

Two thousand years ago,
who bought this ticket?
Came filled with expectations,
wondering what delights
the afternoon might bring.