Poem: “Coloring”

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?

6 thoughts on “Poem: “Coloring”

  1. Although I didn’t grow up in Catholic school, the same enforced conformity, the same Friday aromas and the same untapped creativity lived in my 7 year old heart.

  2. I so enjoy seeing your artwork, I cannot draw, but a friend introduced me to zentangles and another to Praying In Color (book available). I’ve combined these two art forms and has great quiet time praying for others.

  3. This poem moved me in the depths of my soul. I, too, longed to be an artist. I gave it all up because I “wasn’t good enough.” Your works are stirring and preach a beautiful sermon. Thank you for not giving up! I just discovered your blog. (HOLY Spirit) What a blessing are your writings. I pray I May be a faithful follower. God Bless You!

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