My lips were cracked and bleeding, my hands dusty and dry
My feet had walked a thousand miles but I had no tears left to cry.
The absent sun left a dull blue hue
Hugging the mountains of sand,
The indigo desert that had once welcomed me had become a no man’s land.
I climbed every mountain that loomed before me, coughing and exhausted
For I did not know where I would end up, sweating and sand-frosted.
There were a few stars in the sky but I could still not find my way
To the place I once sought and had searched for every day.
At the time I felt I nearly couldn’t go on
There rose before me a face.
A lion’s body under a man’s head
With giant paws at the base.
“Look into my eyes,” his voice echoed deep,
Years later I would still find it to hang me in my sleep.
As I stared into the bottomless orbs that burned into my soul,
A weight lifted from my chest,
I was revived, I was whole.
He healed me, he quenched my thirst
And he would show me the way
To my village, to my family, whom I think of every day.
“I ask only that you worship me,
But live your life the same.
For has it not been for I, surely death would have had you to claim.”
So I promised, yes I sweared
To idolize this creature
That saved me from the unforgiving desert,
Who would now become my teacher.
I kneeled before him, kissed his paws and never once had I doubted
That maybe, just perhaps, my judgment had been clouded.
But I won’t think about that now, I had just wanted to return home.
The Sphinx pointed the way and then I whispered softly, “Shalom.”
The sun rose quickly that day
And my children ran to greet me,
It would be months to come until the true curse of the Sphinx would defeat me.