The Prompt: Local Color—Imagine we lived in a world that’s all of a sudden devoid of color, but where you’re given the option to have just one object keep its original hue. Which object (and which color) would that be?
If all at once, all color were bleached out from the world
and suddenly a universe of whiteness were unfurled—
the rainbow, flowers, trees and art all newly bleached and pearled—
I know what single object I would choose to retain
in all its colored glory, in every hue and stain,
in sun and shadow, snow and hail and dust storm, drought and rain.
Its natural color changes every day we see revealed
over every continent: forest, city, field—
over every place from which the colors will be peeled.
This one glorious object would retain its vivid hues.
It would be the whole world’s canvas and every poet’s muse.
Every lake and river, its reflection would infuse
with all the colors nature has selected for that day:
blue or gold or purple, salmon, orange or gray,
according to whatever whim of moisture, dust or ray.
If I select the sky as the object that I’d choose
to retain its myriad pigments that only start with blues,
there are a thousand colors that we wouldn’t have to lose!
And the whole world could see them in the daytime or the night.
All the colors of the rainbow would not be lost to sight,
as every day and every hour, a new one’s brought to light.
photo by Judy Dykstra-Brown, On the road to Ajijic.