Yankee Pot Roast


Response to E-Mail from a Princess

George Motisher

Exotic Mid-East princess! Well, Shazam!
Tossed from your family’s ancient royal chair.
You need my help; you’re chased, you’re on the lam;
And for my aid, your regal jewels you’ll share.
But do I know you will? Oh! Should I dare?
A Thousand One to one; those are the odds
Your tales are truer than Scheherazade’s.

Your fortune’s surely jarred up in a cave,
And “Open Sesame!” makes it appear,
You hint that with a visa you will brave
The whirling scimitars of some vizier,
And smuggle out those jewels in your bràssiere;
That if I number routes for an escape,
For me, all of your treasures you’ll undrape.

At least you’re not the clerk of one who’s crashed,
With bank assets that no one’s come to claim;
You’ve easy access to the bills you’ve stashed,
And quick transferals are your only aim.
But I’m like Solomon, wise to a game:
You’ve got no bucks, you’re not Assyrian,
But just the same old dead Nigerian.

I’m peeking now through all your seven veils,
And though your moves are subtle, I perceive
A hand that touches softly, then impales;
The love line on your palm runs up your sleeve;
I’d hear your Forty friends laugh, should I grieve.
You move seductively, like Salome,
But I’m no John the Baptist on a tray.

The sailor, Sinbad, flying on the roc,
Found gems; your flight could bring the same for me,
But your jar filled with jewels is just a crock,
I doubt a single stone I’d ever see.
Your bobbing baubles waiting to hang free
Might tempt a ship to rocks on which she’d break—
But I think that your treasure jugs are fake.

I’ll here misquote a diff’rent sailor man:
“I am what, Khayyãm?”—I’ll share bread for your plight?
No wine, not even djinn, no caravan,
Could move my finger once it’s writ, “Yeah, right!”
Mount thou thy magic rug and take a flight.
No jewels I’ll gain, no yacht! I’ve no regrets—
My sun still glows like ruby when it sets.