SF (June 17 1942 / Troy New York)

A Chocolate Day

Deep under the restless streams of a river
there is a bed of silver turned so soft for a mermaid.
Her mother is a fairy and she is busy in the kitchen,
Her prince is away, somewhere in the Middle East,
working hard in a shop as a salesman,
and being not a local he is a low paid employee.
On the same seat the locals get double of what he gets.
Who is he it's irrelevant!
May be from Philippines, Bangla Desh or Pakistan,
or from any other country of south east Asia,
where there is unemployment and poverty.
For three years the couple remains fasting
the instincts burst out in tears in the moon lit nights.
But they are loyal to each other for the sake of the mermaid.
The mermaid is completely unaware of the bitter truths,
she only knows the prince is lovely
he sends a packet of chocolate
every year on the chocolate day.
But this year that has come after three years
the prince is expected to come back home.
The fairy who remains hysterical in a hot and humid kitchen,
is busy in singing a love song,
no sweats on her forehead,
the weather is unexpectedly cold and pleasant,
fine mild showers are seen after regular intervals,
the wind is exciting for the fairy,
and its inviting for the prince.
No doubt in it, he is a prince of labourers,
no doubt in it, the woman of the east is a fairy.
And no doubt in it the child is a mermaid
who has slept in waiting
in the only bed room of the house
on a years old foam
with her doll's head on her bosom
and her head on a pillow of weak stitching,
from that cotton often comes out.
She is smiling in her dreams,
she knows this year the prince will come back home
to smile for only thirty days leave,
and this year he will not send a pack of chocolate
this year he will come in person
with two packs of chocolate
one the routine on the chocolate day
and the other due on a special chocolate day.
And lo, the bell rings,
the fairy rushes to the doors,
the smiles of the mermaid were seen
but now a laughter is heard
though the mermaid is still sleeping,
and will not be awaken,
until the fairy meets her prince.

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Maya Angelou

Caged Bird

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