There we stood, dressed like Egyptians
or what we thought Egyptians should look like
from all our National Geographic magazines.
Wrapped in old curtains, jewels, tulle,
prancing around like we built the pyramids
while life in our sleepy Ohio town
rolled by on its way to middle America.
Men went to work at the refinery
spewing invisible gas and smoke in the breeze
while women ironed shirts and watched television.
But we did not notice the quiet turning
because we were too busy inventing pictograms,
enslaving younger brothers in our game
of carving scarabs and conquering the desert.
Ancient worlds so enticing because
the glossy pictures were clean--
unlike the paint peeling from too much sulfur,
the houses abandoned when factories closed.
There being no room for Egyptian princes
or pyramids in this Republican county
known for its prized cattle, corn and soybeans.
Added: Monday, July 14, 2014 / Used with permission.
Susan Scheid is the author of After Enchantment (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2012). Her poetry has appeared in Truth to Power, Beltway Quarterly, Little Patuxent Review, The Sligo Journal, Silver Birch Press, Tidal Basin Review, and other journals. Her work is also included in the chapbook anthology, Poetic Art. She has read for the Split This Rock Poetry Contests and for the Parkmont Poetry Festival. As Artist-in-Residence at the Noyes School of Rhythm in Connecticut, Susan studied dance and taught daily writing workshops for one week each summer. She lives in the Brookland neighborhood of Washington, DC, where she helped open a community-owned grocery (Brookland Co-op Community Market) and also served on its board of directors.