Poems by
Vaishnavi Prasad

The Riddle

a poem by Vaishnavi Prasad

The essence of Egypt and a symbol of pride,
For thousands of years its glory hasn’t died,
The Sphinx of Giza, its glorious name
Around the world has popularity and fame.
The body of a lion with the head of a God
Its feet enclose the Stela like a pod.
Days go by as you stare and wonder,
“What wakes this creature, lightning or thunder?”
And then your wonder of those many days,
Turns to awe as a live Sphinx says,
“Don’t answer and I’ll make your life blue,
Answer my question and your dreams come true”
And then this puzzle it sets before you.
This is it! You just have a minute or two.
“What has four feet in the morning
Two less not more at mid-day
And three it has in the evening?
Tell me the answer, this I pray.”
One thing you ought to know
Is that, in the land of Egypt if you go,
And face a live Sphinx if you can,
Don’t you forget, the answer, is ‘MAN’.