|[The entrance to the palace courtyard]|
Day in and day out, I've been laying here.
For generations, I have been laying here,
A silent witness to the unfolding drama,
A seat for the impatient daughter
Waiting for her father’s return home from his travels,
A place for the weary traveler to rest their load
Or for the mischievous child to crack walnuts.
I mark the entrance, and I mark the exit.
I've known bare feet, and feet clad in leather,
Young feet and old feet,
Chaffed feet and feet with skin so tender.
Kings, Queens, Soldiers, Monks, Scholars,
Fathers, Mothers, Sons, Daughters,
Serfs, Landlords, Farmers, Craftsmen,
Lovers, Enemies, Friends…
They've all crossed over me
To enter into this home.
I've witnessed the changing of the guards,
And these floorboards and stone steps
Have grown old together with me.
Though I am worn, and old,
And bare now, I still stand guard.
Today, tourists and guides
Are the only ones who cross over me.
[Lines written as a part of a ‘writing exercise’ during Writers Retreat from 24-27th March at Ogyen Chholing Palace at Tang, Bumthang, Bhutan.]