Aphelion Issue 294, Volume 28
May 2024
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Judgement of the Dead

by Jean Jones

Who is the master of ceremonies, who leads the deceased by his hand
to the scales in the Hall of Maat?

What does he hold in his left hand?

Who tops the scales, wearing a feather on her head?

Who is the creature nearby who is like that of a crocodile,

and the middle of her body is like that of a lion?

Who implores his heart not to give him away?

Who says,

"O my heart of my being!
Do not rise up against me as witness,
Do not oppose me in the tribunal,
Do not rebel against me before the guardian of the scales!"

Who writes down the decision as the god of wisdom?

Who asks,

"Why have you come?
What now is your condition?
But who is he whose heaven is fire,
whose walls are cobras, and whose floor is a stream of water?
Who is he, I say?"

Who leads the way, holding an ankh?

Who says to Osiris,

"Thoth hath weighed it according to the decree pronounced
unto him by the Company of the Gods, and it is most true and righteous.
Grant thou that cakes and ale may be given unto him,
and let him be like into the Followers of Horus for ever and ever?"

and who says at the end,

"Behold, I will gather together to myself this charm from the person with whom it is
[and from the place] wherein it is [and it shall come to me]
quicker than a greyhound, and swifter than light?"

© 2013 Jean Jones

Jean Jones graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Bowling Green State University and currently teaches English as a Second Language in Basic Skills for Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, NC.

Find more by Jean Jones in the Author Index.

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