Covered in Blues

Kerry, over at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, asked for poems or tales, in 55 words or fewer, on the subject of our choosing. As an option, we can “reflect… on the legacy of war and history as it impacts us.” I rarely write about war… I don’t like what the idea of people fighting over resources, borders, or for belief systems (that aren’t so different from each other when one truly looks at them) do to my emotions. But last night, I dreamed about war… so here is my bit:

“Covered in Blues”

Fireworks bloodied the sky,
screams sizzled on grills
that seared celebratory meat.

Two boys and a girl
weaved blue ribbons
into the white of my hair,

I thought,
You need more red…
to quiet phantom cries,
hurts, whys, and shame
camouflaged as glory.

My lips said, “Thank you”
instead, leaving my shame
covered in blues.

.
– linked to Summer Snarks and to Poets United (Poetry Pantry, 309)

Dream On, by Michelle Kennedy
“Dream On”, by SunshineShelle

67 thoughts on “Covered in Blues

  1. The white of hair can never be hidden either by the blue ore red… but the three colors make me think of France… wonderful and strong personification of what statistics never can tell

  2. You have made colour a ‘special effect’ in this poem. The images stand out so clearly, especially the ribbons woven through the white hair. The blue, white and red are synonymous with flags of several powerful nations, which gives this a universal feel.

  3. I believe to those who have experienced it, whether first or second hand, that weaving goes down through to the bones, never to be forgotten, never to be walked away from, always worn, like the white hairs some try to disguise with die, and always a too familiar blues. I can understand why you prefer not to write about it. And I’ve always thought fireworks might not be the best way to celebrate the results of a war–the explosions can be too close to memories.

  4. Weaving, such a comfort, can it give comfort(?) I love the shame being covered in these blue ribbons by the well meaning boys and girl over the bleached and colour drained, but I feel though they have actually tied the shame to the white haired ‘winner’ so that it can’t be ever washed away or forgotten, just always hidden there below those celebratory ribbons.

  5. This is such a symbolic seeming poem–and the grilling in the beginning so very ominous. One wonders whether they have to fight harder, needing the red. Very enigmatic but intriguing and almost like the beginning of a story or novel. Thanks, Magaly. k.

  6. This one pulls a person into the foray without being there, Magaly.
    I like the stanza,
    “You need more red…
    to quiet phantom cries,
    hurts, whys, and shame
    camouflaged as glory.”
    Those phantom cries are sooo real.
    ..

  7. So touching, I think a lot gets forgotten when some holidays come around. Fireworks {more like M-80’s and explosives} have been going off, and it sounds like war. 4th of July must be really hard on PTSD veterans. Sorry Iv’e been away for awhile, I hope to get back into the swing of blog things soon.

  8. Hi Magaly! Because I’ve been writing about the Somme, I felt that the opening words reminded me of a battle:
    ‘Fireworks bloodied the sky,
    screams sizzled’;
    and the red, white and blue could be the colours of flags. I completely forgot that it’s 4th July tomorrow. Enjoy the celebrations!

  9. How can one celebrate war. This had been my question everytime I read / watch the news. Such powerful lines, Magaly – camouflage in glory really stood out.

  10. The gesture of placing ribbons in her hair is very powerful – there seems something healing and hopefully in that – like yellow ribbons around an oak tree waiting for our loved ones safe return and yet the blues made my mind jump to bruises..the reds and muteness to internal warfare – sometimes we can be lost there long after the last shot is fired – another powerful poem Magaly and image also

  11. Any color taints the innocence and purity of white. It is though sides have been chosen or forced upon her so she pleads for red to indicate the cost of that blood stained legacy of war. How intense with emotion this poem is.

  12. Powerful imagery here, Magaly. The red, white, and blue – both shame and glory in its history. Your ending makes me reflect on personal meaning.

  13. Such a strong piece, Magaly. I have had a lifetime rule against watching war movies… which very occasionally I break, and have always been glad when I did, for special films. Like this, it’s good you broke your rule to bring this verse into being and toss it out into the world for us to read. Thank you.

  14. I like the sharpness of details given in this, especially as it contrasts to the restraint of the protagonist. It speaks of solitary burdens, always carried gracefully, but still heavy to bear.

  15. Oh, yes. Maybe the fireworks are so loud so veterans don’t have to hear what they cannot help replaying again and again. How not to have shame? The way you use the colors is brilliant, more red would be right and it would match the raw meat sizzling on the grill. Ouch.

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