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Akila and I

A chiropractor tends to my back

a priest to my dream interpretations

two damsels tend to my appetites

after my hairdresser leaves


They circle round like bees or egrets

each tending to their allotted task

I treat them at times with arrogance

and when they cater to my wish

for immortality, with royal benevolence


No one tends to the whole of me

except Akila. She is dressed in white

robe, headdress, gloves


Akila cares for the whole of me

carefully she smoothes my wrinkles

washes my face, combs my stringy hair

winds linen around me until I almost

disappear beneath her ministrations


When she is through she places beside me

my scepter, my gold tankard, a loaf,

a dish of corn and millet, some incense,

a plaque bearing my name


As I prepare for my long journey

to the museum

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© Johnmichael Simon



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