A Poem by Marissa M.

This is a poem I wrote about my visit to Cairo, Egypt for a Creative Writing class.


I was fourteen when I became as Siddhartha,

Traveling beyond the palace gates of middle class America,

Finding an ancient conscience beneath the sandy dunes

And the suffocating sun berating the lazy Nile.


Another world existed in crackled hues of earthy brown.

Tin shanties were stacked upon sandstone ruins,

Clotheslines striped the city above and below

The lush lotus tower, boasting to the skyline.


As I played the indomitable tourist absorbing

The sights and smells and secondhand senses

Available to a young one so green in a land so old,

I slept in down-plush comfort fifteen stories high


Overlooking firefly lights and the sounds of shadows.

I saw men peddling goods and wares, bodies and time,

Bartering nightly pleasures to incomplete daywalkers

Who wandered the broken streets searching to forget.


Temples blended together and were as one face

Wearing masks of Isis and Horus and Ramses,

Asphyxiated by foreigners and infidels, desecrating

The pagan memory and buying fragile mementos.


Pyramids grew forth from beneath the sand

As if they were never built but always were

Upon the face of Giza without origin or maker,

Governing forever as the pharaohs of yore.


People and places lined up in an idealistic row

Of neatly scheduled time-slots waiting

To be viewed and studied and appraised as if

They only existed to be museum exhibits.


I was fourteen when I first witnessed

A world beyond my white picket fence

Within the endless tan of an antique city

Bent against the hands of time and convenience. 

© 2013 Marissa M.

Author's Note

Marissa M.
Please let me know what you think.

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Added on July 31, 2013
Last Updated on July 31, 2013
Tags: Cairo, Egypt, descriptive, religion, tourism


Marissa M.
Marissa M.


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