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(Lisbon, Portugal)

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Rainbow Child

Rainbow child
just because
you like
all the colors
together
across a sky
that seemed
unkind
the day before

when you
weren't sure
if darkness
was the better place
with those
hopeful stars
and smiling moon -
your friends
faithful
every night
sometimes hiding
too, along with you

more certain
than a rainbow
surprise

At those times
brilliance
covers you
with
light and water
spilling
your tears
into
the trickling
puddle river
splish
splash
struggling
spawn of wonder

Your hair was
purple last week
pink before that
and green -
you know they
talk about you
you hear them
questioning the Q
in you
a likely candidate
on the fringe
unsure
(or maybe
seeing color
you say)
they say
LGBTQ

who knew?

not you

you sadly
push away
the colors
to try out
basic black
and disappear
but new words
follow you
like crumbs
always leading
back to you -
labels
you didn't even
KNOW before

but now it's you

in the box.

People worry
too much about you
and what you are
and if, and when.
Q?
A tidy, hard sound
but you don't
want group hugs
bold banners
bawdy parades
surveys
grand exits
from one closet
(to the next?)

not now

You just
want to be
amazed
quietly
under
a perfect sky
where
it all makes
simple sense
to be
so small
and know
you have
your own
true name
in a universe
of empty
definitions

Submitted: Friday, July 27, 2012
Edited: Tuesday, August 13, 2013


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Poet's Notes about The Poem

I had just finished John Irving's newest book: 'In One Person' which led me to think about labels in our gender-sensitive society. It seems today, that there is often a hyper-promotion of labels by the very ones who protest labeling, and upon those who'd rather not be at the front of the line of receiving those labels.

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