Meditation on white until the waiter dropped a saucy fork

I never wear white or when I
do, it is with vigilant
suspicion of small

hands smeared
with jelly, paint or random
child-loved condiments.

I erased white
from my wardrobe
when I gave birth.

Nearly fifteen years
of colored clothing and
lately, mostly brown

and black. Why?
What turn has brought
me down

to muted hue,
or hue’s lack?
But today—divorce,

fathers far away,
three children gone
for days—has brought me

white!  All day in white!
Woven light
cool cotton blouse,

buttoned bright summer, sheer
over flesh and self-conscious
underthings.  White

as baptism for the living
and dead, white as a virgin’s wedding
gown, white as a sadhu’s ash-

smeared head. O! The righteousness
of white! The innocence!  I feel
reborn!  Until

now:  two
hours from midnight,
my short shoulder sleeve splashed

red.  Red!  My mother always
said it was my true
color.

2009

One Response to “Meditation on white until the waiter dropped a saucy fork”

  1. wit says:

    oh how I have always enjoyed this work of yours, Oh Wearer of the Darker Hues.

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