Being red is the color of a white sun where it lingers on an arm. Color of time lost in sparks, of space lost inside dance. Red of walks by the railroad in the flush of youth, while our steps released the squeaks of shoots reaching for the light. Scarlet of sin, crimson of fresh blood, ruby and garnet of the jewel bed, early sunshine, vestiges of the late sun as it turns green and disappears. Be calm. Do not give in to the rabid red throat of age. In a red world, imprint the valentine and blush of romance for the dark. It has come. You will not be this quick-to-redden forever. You will be green again, again and again.
Marvin Bell - 1937-2020
To an Adolescent Weeping Willow
I don't know what you think you're doing, sweeping the ground. You do it so easily, backhanded, forehanded. You hardly bend. Really, you sway. What can it mean when a thing is so easy? I threw dirt on my father's floor. Not dirt, but a chopped green dirt which picked up dirt. I pushed the push broom. I oiled the wooden floor of the store. He bent over and lifted the coal into the coal stove. With the back of the shovel he came down on the rat just topping the bin and into the fire. What do you think?—Did he sway? Did he kiss a rock for luck? Did he soak up water and climb into light and turn and turn? Did he weep and weep in the yard? Yes, I think he did. Yes, now I think he did. So, Willow, you come sweep my floor. I have no store. I have a yard. A big yard. I have a song to weep. I have a cry. You who rose up from the dirt, because I put you there and like to walk my head in under your earliest feathery branches— what can it mean when a thing is so easy? It means you are a boy.