Agha Shahid Ali, At The Museum

But in 2500 B.C. Harappa,
who cast in bronze a servant girl?
No one keeps records
of soldiers and slaves.
The sculptor knew this,
polishing the ache
Off her fingers stiff
from washing the walls
and scrubbing the floors,
from stirring the meat
and the crushed asafoetida
in the bitter gourd.
But I’m grateful she smiled
at the sculptor,
as she smiles at me
in bronze,
a child who had to play woman
to her lord
when the warm June rains
came to Harappa.

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Agha Shahid Ali, At The Museum

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