Today's poem is by Eric Leigh

Color Theory

"I envy your yard," an old woman once said,
leaning over the fence we shared, pointing out
a cardinal and a jay. "They seldom coexist,"

she told me in the quiet voice of the lonely.
"If you have cardinals, you can get robins.
Just nail a half an orange to the side of a tree."

And though I was young enough to want everything
I did not have, I never sliced that orange,
never nailed it to a tree. They stay with me still,

the things I did not do, the birds I did not call
with that proud color which refuses rhyme.
I've held sorrow closer than I had back then,

joy too. I know now how rare it is to see
those colors come to rest side-by-side—
the red breast, the blue.

Copyright © 2009 Eric Leigh All rights reserved
from Harmís Way
The University of Arkansas Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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