They sent the body home at night.
No ambassadorial robes, no honour,
Just a pauper's shroud.
The streets were silent as the coffin passed.
The warrior, the hero, the diplomat
I looked down at the body on the slab,
Or rather, the pieces of a body.
Blown to smithereens.
It hurt to see the indignities which
It had suffered before dying.
Still, I could see the old scars,
The pale lines from the battlefield,
From those old days as a warrior.
Then there were signs of the new life,
The philosopher, the poet, the diplomat,
Who had travelled to a foreign land,
And been promised refuge there.
I embalmed the body myself.
I did not stitch the pieces back together,
That is not our custom.
I embalmed, then wrapped the bandages
Around and around the pieces.
Placed them in the stone sarcophagus.
Some people blamed the servants,
And said that they had led their leader astray.
Others said that a civil war was raging
In that foreign land,
And that the body was just another casualty.
No one really knows the truth.
No one wants another war.
The tomb was large. A great pyramid
To mark the burial site of a great and noble citizen
Of our state.
There are traps for would-be grave robbers
Secret entrances and exits.
An armed honour guard.
The servants were walled inside,
And suffocated as they lost their oxygen.
Sometimes I go and sit on a park bench
Overlooking the tomb,
And think about the body inside.
Today I saw a child and their mother stop and take in the sight.
"Mummy, what's that?" asked the child.
"The tomb of a great citizen, my dear.
Once a fierce and terrible warrior,
Who turned their life around,
Became a poet, a philosopher and a scholar,
Sent on a mission to a strange land
And murdered there."
"No one knows, my love."
The child shrugged and was distracted
By another sight. They moved away.
I moved closer to the tomb,
Nodded to a guard I knew,
And ran my fingers over the inscription:
"Here lies The Heart,
Entombed with its servants
Desire, Hope, Love and Dreams.
May it find eternal rest and solace."
what's it to you?