Napo 22

Today's writing was a little difficult. The prompt was to write about a word in the dictionary.'s word of the day is rhubarb, so I titled my poem that and meditated on the color red, how it means both beginning and end, love and anger, the two extremes. Maybe the "two extremes" aren't so different . . .


I think about the paintbrushes,
How they fill the roadside lawns
with flecks of red,
The color of flush flesh,
of blushed cheeks,
Puckered lips, the tongue

How red attracts the bees,
The hummingbirds, the hungry,
How it whets the appetite—
Cherries, rhubarb, radish

The fine line between love
And anger
Carries the scent
Of passionfruit

Whenever I wear a red dress,
The color of those wildflowers,
And slather my lips
in that same hue,
I too become spring,
No matter the season,
And behind me, the heat
Of summer seems to follow

My face turns that color
as the blood rushes to skin

Sunrise, sunset,
We drip with it
The moment we come
Into the world
And when we leave it, too,
Gazing up into the fire
Of the sky, a final flash
Of rhubarb, the color
we all are deep inside,
paintbrushes, bursting to life,
for a dalliance that’s all too brief.