we imagined it a red flower,
colored very red by bearing down
hard on the crayon, a lipstick colour!
or a paper lantern at a party
or to be put in a jewelry case
with pink pearls in the topmost section
paprika from foreign ports
part jewel, a hybrid star
punched out of a cardboard puzzle
to find out where you are
in a dizzy universe
can you guess? or is it
a beautiful dress put by
for a princess in disguise
all shimmer and net, we won't forget
paprika paprika paprika we
sang in our room outloud
dismissed from the kitchen table supper
forever forever we vowed to be "now on"
twirling and twirling like the jewel box
we knew that we were
because of paprika, suddenly,
uttered like a magic word.
mary angela douglas 21 october 2016