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This poem is taken from PN Review 114, Volume 23 Number 4, March - April 1997.

Two Poems Ruth Fainlight

Ancient Egyptian Couples

Ancient Egyptian couples
standing or seated side by side.
Plaited wigs and pleated robes
breastplates and bracelets patterned
with lotus and papyrus buds
in wood, stone, plaster,
meticulously worked and incised.

Signifying separate realms,
his skin painted
earth red, hers gleams soft
and golden as the sky.

Sometimes, the wife has placed a hand
upon her husband's shoulder.
They stare at us, not at each other,

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