Thursday, February 24, 2011

Red Shirt

 Portrait of the Boy Eutyches
Egyptian, A.D. 100-150

Has anyone seen the boy who used to come here?
Round-faced troublemaker, quick to find a joke, slow
to be serious. Red shirt,
perfect coordination, sly,
strong muscles, with things always in his pocket.
Reed flute, ivory pick, polished
and ready for his talent.
You know that one.

Have you heard stories about him?
Pharoah and the whole Egyptian world
collapsed for such a Joseph.
I would gladly spend years getting word
of him, even third- or fourth-hand.

* * * 

This reading is poignant for me today,
partly because of the recent triumphs in Egypt.
Today is also the 15th anniversary of the day
my redheaded (not redshirted) brother passed away at age 47;
except for the flute, every word of the first stanza is true of him!
He visited the pyramids at Giza in 1969
and took some beautiful photographs of them and the Sphinx.
I wish I had one here to scan and show you.

Bennett Williams Hart
b. June 28, 1948 d. February 24, 1996