Poem: The Reclamation of Color

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The Reclamation of Color

Halfway through the morning, you look down
and see the brush fallen on the floor,
nestled in the dirt of the studio.

You suddenly realize just how long it has been
since you applied a broom to the old floor,
neglected so long as you blindly painted away

on your pristine white canvas. You look around
and it occurs to you that perhaps you have allowed the chaos
more free reign, for far too long than is healthy.

You realize how the neglect has made it so difficult
to find anything. Paintings and brushes
and the half-finished projects stumble over each other.

House cleaning has never been your strong suit,
and it shows here. Perhaps, against your better nature,
it is time for a purge and a cleaning,

a rough reorganization and rethinking
before you go so long nothing can be found or created
with any sense of purpose.

You reach down and pick up the brush. You switch it
in clean thinner resting in an old cream cheese container,
watching the dust and dirt break loose. The brush is clean.

You sigh. Your desire is to paint,
but it is time for something else. Work.
Despised, but essential to continue the life you desire

with all of its colors reclaimed, available,
and fully appreciated once again.

About this poem

I actually have been cleaning my studio over the past couple of weeks. After sixteen months there, it had gotten a little out of control.

But the poem is also a recognition that we have let progress in race relations and care for the struggling come undone in this country. And it is time to address that. It’s work worth doing. Spread the word.

Be well. Travel wisely,

Tom

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