I am the hawk poised on the wrist of my Queen,
Silent, hooded, waiting to be released
Into the sky where I kill for her,
Bring her back gifts of the heads of her enemies.

I am the hound tensed at the heel of my Queen,
Patient, vigilant, waiting to be commanded
To the throats of those who would threaten her,
And may they fall before me like chaff!

I am the dove perched on the shoulder of my Queen,
Cheerful, cooing, waiting to be cast
Into the winds with the message to her paramours,
Bearing their wistful replies safely to her hand.

I am the monkey curled at the feet of my Queen,
Nimble, affectionate, fetching this and that
With antics to turn sorrow to joy, and comfort
When it is needed, with the press of my small body.

I am a flower of service
Opened to your hand, O Inanna.
Only with your plucking am I given differentiation,
Only with your need am I given purpose,
Only with the inhalation of your breath
To judge my quality -- only by this
Am I made Ninshubur, Inanna's woman,
And not some faceless servant in the crowd.

Would you have me be soft
And dress your hair, drape you in colors
For your next lover's bedding, redden your nails
And speculate with you on their performance,
My laughter ringing sweet to lift your heart?
This I can do.

Would you have me be hard
And stand behind you armed and armored,
Grim of visage that none may insult you,
Fighting a hundred demons for you,
My blade leaping in your protection?
This also I can do.

Would you have me bend like the willow,
Defer to you, take your advice,
Your judgment as mine, my strings yours to pull,
Dancing for you like a child's puppet,
Taking joy in your every whim?
This also I can do.

Would you have me strong as iron,
Waiting in the dust for you by Irkalla's passage,
Screaming at the gates of the mighty
For your rescue, untiring and impassioned,
Until the Gods give way before me for your aid?
This also I can do.

I will do all this
And ask nothing more of you
Than your regard, your smile of pleasure,
And the knowledge that I ease the earthly life
Of the Queen of Heaven -- what greater honor?

Depend on me
As on the mountain's stone
To change like the springtime winds
Into whatever shape you need,
Until you need another.
I am your shadow, O Inanna,
As true service shadows true power,
Linked at the heel, I move behind you,
Every footprint you leave in the sand
Shows my eternal devotion at your back.