–    A cento, after Howard Ashman’s Beauty and the Beast

Once upon a time, in a faraway land—
The Prince sneered at the gift;
he tried to apologize, but it was too late.

                 ~~~   ~~~   ~~~ 

Little town—it’s a quiet village;
every day like the one before.
No matter what the pain
we’ve come this far.
That’s not a nightingale, and not a mating call:
You are a part of this idyllic scene…

all that love implies:
To have someone understand
I want so much more than they’ve got planned.
But I know that I can’t
solve my problems going back. 

Is this home?  If anyone
can make the most of living here…
everyone’s awed and inspired by you
and it’s not very hard to see why.

Now the wheels in my head have been turning
and right now I’m evolving a plan:
I simply made one careless wrong decision
suddenly those good old days are gone.
Flabby, fat and lazy,
you walked in and oops-a-daisy!

              ~~~   ~~~   ~~~ 

Long ago I should have seen
all the things I could have been…
a few days more…
there may be something there that wasn’t there before.
The day we have waited for may be at hand!
I’ll be human again. 

Your check-in time’s noon;
the time is opportune.
Ever just the same—ever a surprise—
ever as before—ever just as sure; 
no spell has been broken,
no words have been spoken. 

So it’s time to take some action, boys.
Say a prayer, then we’re there
(if only I’d come here sooner).

This is all that I need
and all that I need to say:
Don’t you know how you’ve changed me?
Certain as the sun
rising in the east. 

        ~~~   ~~~   ~~~

Beauty is found within
for all time.