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April 15, 2024

Capturing Color

By Samantha Swain

Capturing Color

What is thought without language?
And what is language without experience?
I cannot capture the images and the colors.
I try -- I try to grasp that shade of icy lavender that sits low in the morning sky,
neither violet nor blue, painted with pure light.
You understand it only because you have seen it too,
under the silver ghost of your breath.
What I have spoken, you have witnessed,
shivering in your parka as you biked to work.

My emotions, I reach out to them with words,
wrap them in sentences,
tie them down with abstract nouns that catch and pull on the tongue --
but, if I told you I was sad, would you know that I was cold?
As cold as the blue morning sky?
As hard as the frosted earth?
Walking to my car every morning, not even seeing my breath on the air?
You would understand it, if I said it like that,
because you too have once forgotten to look at the sky.

Article © Samantha Swain. All rights reserved.
Published on 2019-12-23
Image(s) are public domain.
1 Reader Comments
Elaine Zentner
02:44:32 AM
Such a lovely poem. I love the imagery of this piece and how the author uses the mundane acts of biking to work and walking to the car as examples of the importance of being mindful of our words. I hope to read more from this author.
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