Chante Souvent du Verde (Sing Often of Green)

I am colored…light blue and faded into pink; a sunset seems to grow from the skyline. I am this mystery, a mix of hues. Emotions squeezed from an ominous, grey-black cloud, I remember the day I became the oak tree struck by lightning. I wanted a light blue, cloudless sky overhead. I was not Michele, pretty and pink, I was now tough, charred, and angry. Age 25, 3 teenagers nested in my branches. Knots knarled and branched wanted to remain winter: brittle and lifeless. I fight to keep cold the ground of my life. But spring came and green grew. At times I feel a termite, decaying to the core; but through it all I remain myself: strong for the battle. Wood can fight fire when wet with tears. I scream with anger—my 1 child dead.

I pound the soil wanting answers.
I search the sky for signs of life.
Black soars and circles-----not the life I wanted to appear.
I sing to forget.
I smile to breathe in happiness. …It works and my grey gloom lifts; fog blankets the earth and light blue again colors me.

Nature provides my sanity—it’s my life’s shelf. My roots are colored green, deep, South Dakota born breathed with pine’s purpose. I stand tall now in winter with my needled branches providing protection and comfort. Now that I’ve found roots on Briarwood Ave., Colorado blue spruce is the perch I’ll settle upon. I am the mosaic Bonjour on my front door, dreaming of vacations never spent; its letters as blue as the Seine River. I’ll stand on those shores some day and feel light blue upon my toes.

I sing to soothe.
I sleep to revive.
I laugh to show love.
I love, I love, I love.

Ceramic, smooth to touch, Grandma’s Lincoln red roses, dahlias, and four o’clocks bloom on the vase of my life. Her Catholic mantra fills in the cracks of my vase, “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” I’ve had to repeat this day in and day out at times—my vessel must hold more water than it seems. Its made for enjoyment, yet is wrecked easily; I’m colored bold as orange ice cream and white as this paper. Pen stains it and I live for its drawings. Letters create the words I live by; the alpha and omega and the budding spring---they teach me. Summer’s schnook wind whispers solace, fall brings fireworks, and my winter is now snowmen in scarves. …For now, my skies will have a hint of light blue.

------------Inspired by Zora Neale Hurston's essay: "How it Feels to Be Colored Me"