Stop, wait awhile and let us set our gaze upon
This statue posed unmoving here beside the path.
Behind her back, the busy traffic grumbles by
In Ignorance of every aspect of the artist's skill,
That set her here, detached from all the noisy bustle,
And all the life that passes by, and yet she is
The very heart of it.
A sheen of bronze enfolds her flowing hair, her face,
Her hands, her robes, the basket and the flowers;
As it has done for a thousand years, or more;
Or was she placed here on this very day?
Was that tall tree grown to give her shade,
Or did she choose to stand beneath its shelter,
Unmoving in the heat?
Unhearing of the traffic's noise that rushes past,
On one commercial errand or another;
Unseeing of the crowds of tourists strolling by,
Who gawp upon the shops, the trees and stalls;
She stands unruffled by the gentle breeze,
That stirs the leaves and cools the milling throng,
That passes by.
Two tourists stop to join us and admire the sculptor's skill.
They comment on the statue's noble looks and walk around,
Nodding in approval at every detail of the work of art.
And still she stands serene and beautiful, aloof, apart.
Another tourist comes. He stops and looks, then reaching out,
Drops a coin into the bowl that stands between the feet;
Of the unmoving image.
And then a miracle occurs, that makes the passers by
Pause and watch and talk amongst themselves.
The statue that, while we looked, stood immobile and erect,
Has come to life; her hands slowly move apart,
Reaching out in gratitude to the man who gave the coin.
Then briefly smiling, she resumes her pose once more,
And stands unmoving yet again.
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