At the Museum

At the Museum
Iona Mandal

I dwell within the chambers of a euphemism,
an almost-palindrome, six-lettered 
warehouse of plunder.
The only somewhat native artefact, 
the blood-stained soil of an unholy civilisation,
which came in time,
of a million human thoughts.

Each automatic door, almost as if,
a gust of ancient wind,
passing through the glass.
A threshold to revelation
of sugar-coated pillage
from splendid lands,
showing the world,
within a few ephemeral hours.

Rocks as old as the universe,
chipped frescoes, revarnished vases,
rows of porcelain and bronze figurines
now embalmed in single treasure rooms
masking the grit and grime of rapine.

I question at times,
the misrepresentation denoted
within false acceptance.
Stolen heritage replacing bare lands
built from oppression.
Memories of human thoughts,
trapped in each footfall,
in rooms of the past,
their enormity making one forget
of all that it is worth.

The echoes of an infantile rhyme 
may leave your lips with disgrace:
Finders keepers, losers weepers.
To which we retort –
Weep as you lose the pillars
that uphold your nation.
weep as the marble, gives way to weathering,
because nothing or almost nothing.
really ever belonged here in the first place

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