In Punjab, sixteen-year-old Pari
Rolled her eyes at her new birthday sari.
She was more than just miffed
At the practical gift,
Since she’d asked Daddy for a Ferrari!
He found her crumpled and discarded
As though for a strong gust
To sweep her away
Or for a lighted match
To consume her
He found her curious and compelling
As if constructed from
His own missing parts
Or bits of brightly colored
She was dissonance and eloquence
Surrounded by crimson velvet cords
And flashing yellow lights
Yet he reached out one wishful hand
Until, fiercely, she withdrew
A frightened anemone
Too soon the words formed in his mouth
And would not remain hidden from her ear
She swatted at the syllables, though he longed
To capture them like fireflies in a jar
To marvel at how they sparkled:
—I care for you.
She wept: “I’m damaged. I’m incomplete.
What do you want from me?”
—I’ll take what I can get.
She dared: “You’ll take what I give you!”
–Whatever you give me– I’ll take it.
A promise was made
He kept his eyes down and his hours busy
At how the sidewalk cracks
Led straight to her door
And how his morning coffee
Was dark like her voice
She trembled; he dreamed of the time she would
Tremble around him
So mercurial; she was silvery slick
And always changing
But true to his promise
He remained steadfast
Through days that pulsed with her heartbeat
And nights haunted by her ghosts
He breathed it all in
Watched her eyes for angels
Until there in the tickling grass
She rested her head on his shoulder
With his hat and a kiss from Aunt Lu
He arrived from the Darkest Peru
Proper Paddington Bear
Had a “special hard stare”
That would wilt Rupert, Fozzie, or Pooh.
Note: A friend challenged me to write limericks for as many different countries as I could. Challenge accepted. Read the whole series, make suggestions and cheer me on here.