Hands flat on his greywacke lap,
Pharaoh’s unfazed by city traffic,
Gabby guards, the bell of children
A gallery back as they meet the mummy.
Similar stillness marks the stern
Gravegood gods, the case of cats,
And hard headrests chipped from sycamore
Fig that would surely slow time.
The children charge, scend of the present
In a playful, plaid dash. They fog
And print the glass, they tickle toes,
Cry ‘Cookie!’ at canopic jars.
Only their flight to the future, ancient
Rome restores the ka of calm,
As slow, time-killing tourists,
Stiff as stelae, breathe easy.