Wednesday, February 13, 2013

shades of red

Shades of Red
    by Ruth Mowry

A man will tell you
if you say
The dress was coral
that he doesn’t know
what color that is.
It’s a funny joke
that a man can’t identify
shades of ruby, rose or russet.
Don’t specify
cadmium, crimson,
carmine or cardinal
or burden him
with the fiery folly of mauve,
maroon and magenta;
these will topple him
into a raspberry of despair;
you won’t get to his heart
through his stomach
describing anything as
candy apple, cherry,
tangerine or strawberry.
Just call it red.
You and I know
it doesn’t mean he
doesn’t care about the dress;
it may mean he doesn’t understand
the subtle species of your feelings
separated into seed packets
in the complex filing
system of your spirit;
it means he would like
you to hit the broad red
side of the barn
with your meaning
so that he can love you
with his strong brick red heart.