Landscape with Shades of Red

This entry is part 56 of 92 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Spring 2011


Cranberry, Sparkling Berry, True Red, Movie Star Red, Red Delicious, Sunset Red— how many names for these little tubes of pigment lined up on a drugstore wall? My older daughters and I come here to find a name for the color of our changing moods. In the fall we turn to russet shades, to nutmeg and chocolate and spice; in spring we might crave the fluttery pink of orchids, the softer wistfulness of mauve. But here we are on the precarious brink of summer— just like that pair of tanagers foraging in the rain, not two feet from the porch: though it is the male in his costume of brash red that trails the drab female onto a branch, and returns my level gaze. Of course it is the same old story all over again. The Beatles sing “Why Don’t We Do it in the Road?” and Mrs. Robinson lights her cigarette, rolls her stockings back up her legs. Elaine and Benjamin have barred the church door shut and are running, running away and into the bus.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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