Waiting

Our bare limbs stretch across the sands
Desperate for distant Isis to return
As the great burning orb glares
At a land all too eager to breath once more

The servants of Maat, wills reviving
Daintily dip their shaven heads
Heavy words falling quickly from their lips
As one by one they approach the shore

“Rise!” the God our King commands
“Rise!” He proclaims as He casts
His declaration into the shallow Nile
His face stern as temple stone

And we – we the weary farmers
We the wary watchers, the mindful merchants
We the obedient slaves, the sullen soldiers
A thousand thousand of us, waiting

As one we watch the papyrus command
Float over the sluggish blood of Egypt
The Nile River from which all life comes
The heart of our once great land

We watch, we wait, praying for the waters to return
And despite my fear, I dare to look
Upon our King, son of the son of Ra
Who gazes ever heavenward, stolid, true

From bended knee I look upon him and wonder
As his hands begin to tremble and his eyes close
For the water refuses to rise beneath the angry sun
And the land grows drier and drier still

With a sharp glance at his High Priest
Our King turns away and begins his ascent
While my children, hungry and scared, look to me
“It’s alright,” I say, “we’ll try again tomorrow.”

sacrifice

this was not the sound
i was meant to utter
not the voice matured
through honest discourse
and eager living but
imposed by a madman
pointing angry follicles
of lucid fantasies
at my terrified skin

this was not my voice
but his, commanding me
to restore dominion
to his failing faith
his words carving
metaphors into my flesh
his god demanding
one more sacrifice
to the gluttonous sun

 pharaoh

Egyptian funerary mask (c.600 BC), Smithsonian Institution