(For a better experience, read while listening to Enya’s “May It Be”. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8u4VLk0iTI)

James: How pretty she is! She’s always in my view at the office, and I admire her every day.

Rose: She’s green.

James: Rose, I think you envy her.

Chang: I wonder what you think of this passing year.

James: Who? You mean for Tina?

Chang: Yeah.

Zahra: Interesting. James, I thought she was Libertina?

James: Still is. Tina’s a short form of Libertina.

Zahra: Hmm… A good thing you took out the “Liber” part as I’ve noticed she isn’t so eager as before to welcome “tired ones” into her home.

Chang: So true, and I understand her.

James: She still does, but not the ‘refuse of shores’. To your question Chang, this past year was a good one for her.

Rose: Ha! I see that you aren’t looking at her through the same window as others. What curtain do you have raised!

James: Agreed and my view of her is clearer. You are upset that she’s staying away from taking “refuse” (among other reasons).

Zahra: Refuse. What a word!

Chang: Actually, James didn’t make the word up. The Lady Lazarus said it first.

James: Rose opened her home to the “huddled masses”. How’s that working for you?

Rose: They “breathe free”.

James: Yeah, they take up your air.

Zahra: I think Chang should hold the “lamp” now. Tina’s home isn’t paradise anymore.

Rose: And neither is mine.

James: At last, she admits it. These “tempest-tossed” ruin paradise. But sure Chang, you are welcome to take the “lamp”. I could talk to Tina on your behalf, you know?

Chang: I have a lamp already, it’s lit. And my doors aren’t made of ‘gold’. Can’t you hold the lamp, Zahra?

Rose: And Zahra, don’t you agree its best these “masses” didn’t go across seas in the first place?

James: Zahra, oh Zahra. An appropriate question for you.

Zahra: I think we all know why it happens and who the culprits are.

(A raised curtain version of this narrative is available at: Once Upon a Month – Raised Curtains)