Poems of Healing

If Colors Could Heal
For Sally

I wrote:
A purple taffeta
Headdress is in the mail,
no one will notice
the loss of your hair
you’ll look exotic.

She wrote:
In Penland, I marbled
paper with a peacock feather
motif, to make beautiful books.
It was painful to walk from my room
to the studios.
I was in pain.

I wrote:
A long green and red
marbled silk scarf
is in the mail.
Wrap it around your neck
to make the pain
slip away from your bones.

She wrote:
I am mending
my grandmother’s quilt
adding new patches
of pink satin and blue velvet
to enter in a contest.

I wrote back:
Lengths of yarn
from the shawl
I am weaving, are now in the mail,
turquoise, black and purple
in cotton, chenille and mohair.
You could borrow my shawl
for the winter
if you like the colors.

She wrote back:
These are not my colors,
my mouth is sore.
I eat baby food
jars of carrot-orange
and beet-blood red.

My crazy quilt didn’t win.
I am pain-crazy,
tear out of bed every night
and rip the tubes.

Turquoise, black and purple
are not my colors,
ash- dark is my color
dirt-brown is my color
grass-green is my color.
Colors of
my breasts, my womb, my bones
ash-dark, dirt-brown, grass-green.

Esther Kamkar, Palo Alto, California artist and poet. Poems, poetry, writing, published works - footer logo

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