Little girl footsteps,
thumping with enthusiasm,
down the hotel hallway.

She knocks and runs,
quick as a flash,
and eating mouthfuls
of flyaway hair.

The hotel has a
palace-like quality to it.
Life-sized chess set,
caged Hawk
on the roof,
Mango lassie’s
on underwater bar stools,
Dutch baked goods
at the breakfast buffet.

This palace is not her home.
Oh no.
She lives down the hill,
in the small village
by the Nile.
With street dogs
and bread baked
by the sun.

No concept of what would come.
No hint of hardship
in her bright eyes.

Perhaps the scorpions
could have told her,
told her what life
would be.

Teach me this game!
She said insistently
to the man with
the long finger nail,
curled shoes,
and kind eyes.

And he did.


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