Colors of her Generosity

Her hair bronzed like Cola
in a vat of firelight—
her smile as Pink as the sky.
These shades, so special, they could never be found
in my crayon box no matter
how many pictures I drew of her, my Mother.

Her wisdom spread
like a table cloth covered in salt and light,
draped on the edges of her heart
etched in many days of bread and labor,
teaching us to walk with God—her life,
the picture drew.

When I grew up, she put reluctance away
and spread wide her arms, let me go
to draw the pictures I’d seen on billboards,
to touch the world I’d painted Gold…
places I couldn’t scrawl with my crayons—
dreams drawn in Pearl and Onyx.

I drew away to where city lights
danced in every glass, where neon greetings
glittered in tinsel-charms of Silver.
But like the shadows of lost gems,
those pictures dimmed in time…
the wax lent to Bittersweet. Her picture not among them.

When her portrait emerged again, this time from the clouds—
brighter, clearer, and more alive than Blue-green or Green-blue
had ever colored my childhood oceans.
I remembered her words. her voice, they set my heart to Crimson.
The sky broke in hues borrowed from God’s palette,
colors that even Heaven couldn’t contain.

The rainbow drew her name.


My mother and grandmother, Lucy and Lena, will forever be in my heart. This poem was recently published in In Celebration of Mothers, 2016.