Gregory Orr

That ancient Egyptian poem
August 19, 2022 Orr Gregory

That ancient Egyptian poem


Carved on a pillar—
In it, she’s showing her lover
A pink minnow
She caught
In her cupped hands


Yes, she’s aware the water’s
Turned her
Linen dress transparent


Scene from a poem
Composed three
Thousand years ago—


It’s all just sand and dust
And a few stones
Carved with hieroglyphs
But look—
There they are:
That little fish and the two
Lovers standing close
To each other


In a quiet part of the stream.

Gregory Orr’s most recent book is A Primer for Poets and Readers of Poetry from W. W. Norton. His most recent poetry collection was River Inside the River (Norton, 2013). These poems are from a newly- completed collection.