The Sugar-Plum Tree

11 Feb


Spent the day a-reading, The works of Eugene Field,
The Delectable Ballad of Waller Lot, And the tale of fishermen three
The gingham dog and calico cat, My! What a fight had they,
Ne’er has such a story been heard, Near or far away.

I loved the rhyme of the Morning Song, I climbed the Sugar-Plum Tree,
I took the pen from my pocket above, And now I write for thee
Of what do I write I really know not, Of the flowers or shining sea,
Do I write about my neighbour’s dog, Or some war in history?

I see some children in the park, I could tell you how they play,
With ball and bat and gloves and hat, Until the end of day
I could tell you the story of Superstorm, He runs so wild and free,
Or must I write of the clouds above, As I sit on the Sugar-Plum Tree?

The birds they sing and spread their wings, The worms they crawl the earth,
I do not think I’ve added much to thy wisdom of the world
I tap my head, I pull a twig, There must be some story to be told,
Wait, I see a maiden, dressed in pastel blue and gold.

She seems to be from Faraway Land, Is as fair as fair can be,
But as she nears the Sugar-Plum Tree, She looks more and more like me
She stops to ask the children playing, A fancy thing or two,
Maybe of the house beyond, Or the way to Meadow Dew.

They look around and speak aloud, And soon their fingers point,
Not to the house or meadow beyond, But to the river joint
Her walk so brisk, her spine so straight, here-or-there she does not see,
Not once does she e’en turn around to glance at the Sugar-Plum Tree.

I am sad, my heart is weak, In my throat there is a lump,
I know not if for a love not found in the water she will jump
‘Pray tell me girl, what evades you – Hope or Love or Luck?’
‘I promise you, I’m a happy ‘un, I’ve just come to feed the ducks’.

As I turned to walk away, I was wrapped up in a breeze,
And down I came a-falling from atop the Sugar- Plum Tree
I fell with a thud, was covered in mud, The air was filled with ‘Aahs!’
And all I could see in the morning light was a bunch of painful stars.

My world it stopped right then and there, I felt no fear or harm,
When a boy so bold, with skin of gold extended me his arm
In his eyes so clear and bright, It’s me who I could see,
And he and I, we fell in love, right under the Sugar- Plum Tree.

         – (c) Urvashi Ashar


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