by Rosemary Jones
If I go blind, will I remember
the colour of royal blue?
And the difference between navy and larkspur
turquoise and powder blues?
Will pale tints fade faster than strong hues
in my mind’s view?
How important was an orange to John McCarthy
in his windowless Lebanese cell
lit by one bare bulb,
that he chose not to eat it
but to hold it and smell it
and chiefly to gaze upon it
till it shrivelled to a brown shell.
Shall I remember how my November garden
glowed for my husband’s wake,
the garden he had helped create,
shining with reds, yellows, greens and bronze?
Or how it always looks its best when
white snowdrops start a miraculous succession
of spring yellows, pinks, purples and blues?
Children know colours before they can name them,
a simple way to identify their towel or toothbrush.
Do colour preferences change with maturity?
When young I liked pale tints, cream and pink,
and colours had to match, not clash.
Then one Christmas I found a card, a stained glass
window in fuchsia pink, orange and purple
separated only by thick, black leaded lines
and discovered its panache.
People ask, What’s your favourite colour?
Least favourite would be easier.
Not far from me there’s an orange house, a
bright, in-your-face, flat, unforgiving orange.
Some years ago, an acid-lemon-yellow house,
now painted over, yelled for attention on the main road.
Oranges and lemons have their place in the kitchen
or garden, or even in nursery rhymes.
Will colours have these connotations if I go blind
or will they just be words in my mind?
Copyright © 2020 Rosemary Jones