Thoughts at the King Tut Exhibit
by Sarah Mills
I want to trace my fingers
along these ancient symbols
and utter their foreign sounds.
I long to understand the message they tell.
But a strange glass encasement
renders us separate.
We are left with wooden boats,
Child’s Chair with Footrest,
Silver Trumpet, Game Board, and
ankhs, everywhere, ankhs.
Stories inscribed on wooden chests
tell their tales of unwavering devotion.
A golden dagger and sheath
that were left among the linen wrappings
shine beneath the artificial light.
Why do we deliberate these vessels,
urns, flasks, jewels,
using words like calcite and limestone,
ivory, obsidian, rock crystal, glass?
What right have we to disturb a bear’s slumber,
only to marvel at his fur?
We trail slowly behind one another,
devouring what is not ours.
We will not apologize for our curiosity,
and we will not thank him for offering to us
something that was never meant to be shared.