There are those washed-out days, ones my mom would
call the days of looking drained, colorless, as washed out
as bleached linen, the aftermath of sleeplessness and sadness,
the palette minus primary colors. Those days would last
until someone or thing would snap me out of pallor, smudge
me with the breath of life that banished torpor, bade farewell
to loneliness, waved away anything faded, beckoning all
that vivid held. My soul felt the blood run through it, my cheeks
pink with renewal.
That’s what this day felt like, the day I learned
viva magenta pigmented the news as color of the year,
reminding me we need to find a hue reviving us, corralled within this time
and space accompanied by Covid, fears, and wars, our desiring tones
to take us out of ashen shades and into vibrancy.
Viva magenta baptizes us with redness at its root,
primordial shade emboldening us, pulling us
from shadows, taking on a color connected to our birth,
connected to our veins, connected to our flesh, one that says live,
and live more, and live more deeply.
One that, on my washed-out days, I’ll remember to bathe in,
swatches of the purpled red adorning how I clothe myself,
see myself, dancing away from dread
and whirling into possibilities.
About the Poem
Pondering the announcement of Pantone’s Color of the Year as it reflects our global mood and our personal needs!
About the Author
Barbara Simmons, a Bostonian and Californian, says both coasts inspire her. An alumna of Wellesley and Johns Hopkins’ Writing Seminars, and a retired educator, she savors life, envisions, celebrates, and understands with words. Some publications: Boston Accent, NewVerse News, Soul-Lit, Capsule Stories 2022: Swimming, a lyrical essay in Women’s Writing Circle’s upcoming anthology, Who am I Today and her poetry book, Offertories: Exclamations and Disequilibriums.