The School of Not Moving

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.