At The Valley Of Kings, Closing Pharaoh's Tomb

She lingered, until we---ready to put
the royal seal upon the outer door---
gently invited her to step outside.
She walked out backward, and she was barefoot;
perhaps to please her husband just once more.
Intrigues---how each wiley advisor strives---
did not disturb the hours they spent together.
They were the Great Loves of each other's lives.
The passion of that love will long abide,
long after time and its erosive weather
have worn the very letters off each stone.
Lovers, they did not have long on the throne;
but few enjoy such love as they have known;
and having it, you never feel alone.





Author's Notes/Comments: 

The provenance of the poem deserves to be noted.  Decades ago, I read that Howard Carter, discoverer of the tomb of Tutankhamun, found---just inside the first door---bare footprints in the dust.  He cast these in plaster immediately, before the movement of air could obliterate them and sent them to Cairo for anthropological analysis.  The characteristics described by the analysis---relative height, weight, age, and gender---were manifested in the depictions of the Pharaoh's wife, Ankhesenamun. 

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