When I Encountered
Tutankhamen

by Oonah V. Joslin


I wanted to see the pyramids,
visit the valley of the kings,
peek into chinks in ancient walls
and dig up wondrous things.

I didn’t know what that entailed, aged ten;
the heat, the dust, the back-breaking work,
days bowed low like some devoted saint
on your knees in the desert, brushing dirt.

I wanted to be an archaeologist;
it sounded romantic and exciting
not at all like crawling through inaccessible
spaces with minimal lighting.

I wanted to read fluent bird and snake,
craved all the gold dazzle and the glory
until I learned it’s mostly about dust,
the same as every other human story.

I am an armchair and remote explorer now.
I never miss a documentary.
I find fact-finding much more fun
with a nice biscuit and a cup of tea.


Copyright © 2015 by Oonah V. Joslin

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