In a wall relief at the shrine of Hathor,
goddess of love and joy, Thutmose III,
Napoleon of Egypt, conqueror of Syria
holds a ball in one hand and in the other
a stick, “striking the ball for Hathor, foremost
in Thebes.” Seker-hemat, batting the ball.
The king’s priest plays the field, “catching it for him
by the servants of the gods,” ritual
for renewal and a relief to learn
that it was nothing new under the sun
when you buried your father with ball and glove.
— J. L. Wall