Ribbons in my hair, Forever!

I think I was overburdened with living that day

In the cafeteria, I involuntarily sighed.

The Colonel looked at me over his specs

‘A penny for your thoughts’ he said

‘I think I’m growing old’ I sighed again

‘I’ve wrinkles on my face and my shoulders pain.’

He smiled quizzically at me and looked a little thoughtful

And then he gave me a kind look and said

‘It’s all in the mind you know. Stay girl, skip and laugh

Take big gulps of life, don’t sip through living

And wherever you are and whatever you do,

Let there be ribbons in your hair all through.’

‘Stay girl’ he commanded, fauji style and you’ll be forever youthful

The ribbons in your braids must fly- let them unravel down your back

Never mind that it’s to office you go, the ribbons are in your mind

Be free, be lass, dance on your toes , try and touch the stars

play hopscotch, run with the wind, giggle sweetly, dance in the rain

Suck on your sweets, brush your dolls’ hair and let yourself feel no pain

‘The boy in me has never faded, I still

Speak comic book lingo &frolic with my dog

My knees may creak, I do lose sleep, and tired do I feel

But by laughter and curiosity eternal, I more from life do steal!

The girl in me twinkled at the colonel. ‘Twas a lesson well taught

But time went by, a wrinkle appeared and the lesson I forgot

To the parlour I went for a haircut, ‘So much grey’ I rued

But a little boy sitting behind, picked up my curl, lying cut on the floor

‘Throw it down’ his mom instructed ‘Don’t you know it’s dirty?’

He held on tight: ‘No mom, its not- it’s so shiny, curly and pretty!’

Ah! grateful I am to these fine gentlemen, they never let me grow old

And this time, I swear, to my curls and my ribbons I’ll tightly hold!

This poem is dedicated to Col Gurpreet Singh, who shares laughter and wisdom with me over coffee.

Categorized as For better or 'verse'