Pandora’s Box Revisited

“I want it!”

Whined Pandora,

Stamping tiny feet

Encased in soft silken slippers.

“I deserve it!”

Screamed Pandora,

Beating her fists,

While her bracelets tinkled merrily with laughter.

Her father

Bent his ireful brow upon her,

The sunlight forming a halo

Around his fair hair.

A stern figure he looked,

In his polished black shoes

And his lightning emblazoned tie.

“You shall not have it

My child, his voice

Boomed and echoed within the room.

“It is not yours to have,

It is your sister’s jewellery box.

If you’re too greedy

And reach for more

Than you can keep,

Then beware the results, they will not leave you happy…”

“But it’s my birthday daddy!

And that’s the present I want!

I won’t settle for another,

Not even if you gift me

That porcelain doll

I’d had my eyes on!”

And for the rest of the day,

She sulked and whined

And pouted and cried

Ignoring the beautifully piled presents

At the foot of her bed.

She had seen the bawdy jewels

Belonging to her sister,

Overflowing from the tiny casket

Like coins from a pirate’s chest,

And her eyes had glowed with avarice

As she vainly promised herself

That she would get her hands on it

No matter what everyone said.

As the clock rang nine

And the birthday girl woke

From a fitful nap,

She spied a neatly wrapped box

Lying at her feet.

With a shout of glee

She grabbed it and held it close,

Knowing its contents

Were all she had longed for

The past few months.

Tearing away the wrapping paper,

She hesitated for a moment,

Wondering if she were wrong,

But curiosity overcame prudence

And with eyes shining with ecstasy

She opened the box

To reveal the casket.

She fingered the lock

With breath held long,

Then threw it open suddenly

Only to cry out in dismay!

All that was left in the jewellery box,

Was one minuscule safety pin,

A golden remainder

Of treasures that had been,

Leaving the little girl sobbing

Into her pillow, realising,

That history had repeated itself.

Juhi Mendiratta