POETRY: The Three Kings, by Muriel Spark

(In 2008 The Times newspaper named Spark in its list of “the 50 greatest British writers since 1945.”)

Where do we go from here?
We left our country,
Bore gifts,
Followed a star.
We were questioned.
We answered.
We reached our objective.
We enjoyed the trip.
Then we came back by a different way.
And now the people are demonstrating in the streets.
They say they don’t need the Kings any more.
They did very well in our absence.
Everything was all right without us.
They are out on the streets with placards:
Wise Men? What’s wise about them?
There are plenty of Wise Men,
And who needs them?—and so on.

Perhaps they will be better off without us,
But where do we go from here?

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