I hold the paperweight, slide into its miniature world.
Become a mere speck on pristine white steps.
Imagine the huge love for Mumtaz Mahal,
for whom it was made, how symbolic
this great building is.
From outside the paperweights dome
is like a thumbs fleshy base,
that cushions against another
when hands clasp in friendship.
Falling snow within is the shimmering laughter
of the child who gave this gift,
her brown fingers a contrast to mine,
older, crooked by the twist of arthritis.
She brought this miles from sunshine,
flaring colours of her father’s home,
where a thought of me penetrated excitement,
perhaps tied with a loose ribbon of affection
for friends, her adoptive home.
The globe’s journey weathered turbulence,
lonely chill of a ‘planes hold, airport thrash and hustle
a suitcases dark squash, where its sparkles
As I travel inside it, I cross a bridge
between her culture and mine.
Lose myself in this world of friendship.
by Miki Byrne