I wrote this poem as part of a class exercise in October, 2016. It expresses a scene from second grade and my creative life.
My thumb and forefinger pinch
A second-grade orange-red crayon
On sky-blue construction paper.
An Army of Crayola-Crayons forms security on my desk
To guard my inner life against boring expectations from beyond my workspace
Telling me that I should ignore my secret colors and design.
A rainbow of crayon soldiers protect my imagination
As they decrease in size on the rough paper.
The multicolored shades of my imagination
Overtake the black and white extremists of spelling and math.
My innocence shades the course-blue territory
With exciting hues of exploration.
I risk discovering outside the lines
Tracing from my instincts
Chaffing against my Catholic purity
And the finger pointing from my teacher.
The extra-fat-grease-stick Army stands at attention
Protecting me during Friday art class
So I may breathe
After the predictable cafeteria aromas of creamed-corn
And lukewarm fish sticks begin to fade.
Held up in my citadel of lines and shading
My orange-red crayon Warrior
Falls onto the floor
And rolls down the aisle
Far from my command and reach.
Just then our principal yanks open the door
Her black and white dress and veil swirl with authority.
Sister paces down the aisle
Like a General from the gray world
Stepping on my orange-red Combatant
And the color drains out.
A soldier is down!
The enemy of practical gray overtakes my plans.
I cannot surrender to those who want me inside the lines.
I wonder where I fit living with an orange-red imagination
And a soft sky-blue world inside me?