THE ASSYRIAN LIONS
Curly bearded human-lion faces
return the onlooker's gaze
with blank, rounded stone eyes;
ancient pelts of scarred granite
stretch across powerful shoulders, lean haunches.
The four clawed pads of each great beast
stalk proudly through Time itself.
These were the guardians of the gates
of the terrible Hittite Warrior Kings.
In their silent strength
six thousand years lie dormant.
Once the pair of them stood arrogantly on either side
of the entrance to a ruler's throne room,
symbols of conquest and power.
Now they languish in the dim recesses
of the dusty museum,
heads high on arched necks
turned toward empty doorways . . .
waiting, waiting in icy patience,
for the footsteps
that will never come again.
SUE LITTLETON: Poems of Istanbul
POETRYREPAIRS 13.02: 024