Changing Colors by Linda Lerner

Changing Colors

She tries to tell him something he can’t hear
what if it happened in other places she asks
when he tells her to get out of her office more
A blue glass paper weight is now
yellow she says, when she took it out

of the box, and a greenish enamel flower pot
is trailing off into brown; but still green, right, he asks

she doesn’t answer him

he’s standing behind a wall of primary colors
strong light hurts his eyes and he can’t
see what it’s doing to the colors
the grey his wife favors wearing, whiter now
the alley ways between them
down where she’s been slipping

when she thought he didn’t notice
what he suspected but knew
about the danger of straying off
well-traveled mental roads

I can smell the earth seeping thru
the flower pot she told him, and the yellow now
smells like spring rain
                                            and then
he didn’t want to hear any more 

                                                      and then
but to lure her safely back to

where nothing ever changed color


Linda Lerner‘s A Dance Around the Cauldron, Lummox Press, 2017 is her most recent collection. She is the author of Takes Guts & Years Sometimes, and Yes, the Ducks Were Real, published by NYQ Books in 2011 & 2015. A chapbook of poems inspired by nursery rhymes illustrated by Donna Kerness, Ding Dong the Bell Pussy in the Well was published in Feb. 2014 by Lummox Press. She’s previously published thirteen collections of poetry and twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.