For every thousandth footstep
that crosses your threshold,
does she feel his devotion a little bit more?
For every awed gaze
cast upon your alabaster splendor,
is she reminded that she was his muse?
For every lover inspired
by the story of how you came to be,
does she think of how he chose her above the rest?
Or is it your enduring presence
across centuries – of war, of occupation,
of so much human suffering
And the strength and patience
of the hands that built you
– the true story behind your wonder?
The Poetics challenge at dVerse this week was to write about a historical artifact. I thought of the Taj Mahal, known as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is also known as one of the greatest monuments to love; Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan commissioned it as a memorial for his late wife, Mumtaz, who died delivering their 14th child. While their story gives it some very romantic origins, I am also awed by the fact that it took twenty-two years to be built, over two thousand workers across India and Persia, and has stood in all its marble glory for almost 400 years now – and millions of people still flock to it every year.