by Ursula Nouza
Her most memorable birthday
but not only because of a beautiful ruby ring
gifted to La Nena, the girl of wheat-colored whorls
that rainy March 30th her fifth birthday.
“A very extravagant gift,” stated the mother
“it comes with a condition.
Only for a special occasion
returned immediately thereafter.
Sonia, Angelina, Elvira, Margot and more
invited La Nena to their birthday fiestas
but the stars were not the fêted señoritas.
The protagonist of every gesture,
the ruby ring
adjusted locks of plucky hair
held the beverage just so
and posed for sun striking facets.
No throne has known a happier princess.
The mother did not ask to reclaim
the ruby ring.
The thrill of the jewel on La Nena’s hand
kept sleep at bay.
Throughout the night
on one side she lay, then the other
in admiration from angle to angle
a different finger and even a toe or two
and why not feel how it tastes, too?
The ruby ring
clinked along teeth tops
rolled from cheek to cheek
cheek to cheek
“You don’t seem to be hungry, dear”
queried the mother, “is anything wrong?”
Question ignored by terror.
“By the way, after breakfast,
return the ruby ring.”
After confession, the remedy was clear.
The potty on which La Nena trained
emerged from storage and put to use for two days.
Since birthday # 5, no jewelry has ever passed through
La Nena’s ruby lips.
The Summer Gazebo Readings feature 4 author/poets each Monday evening in June, July and August, 7 pm at Schoolhouse Green in Oceanside, NY. See the links to the right for our schedule and directions. Bring a lawn chair and come on down!