Purple Poem


A while back I read something Georgia O’Keeffe said about how she stopped using color for a while and that it was a month before she found herself needing blue. I have written several poems about green for some reason, possibly because trees do this thing where all the leaves are a slightly different green. But I interacted with a purple flower recently and it made me think about that. So here we are.


There is a purple in the world–

Long ago only emperors

Were allowed to adorn themselves

With the rich, dark end

Of the rainbow–night coming on

With a light dew on the fields,

The stars blinking, the long yawn

Of the first full moon of spring:

That purple. Now even I could pluck such

A delicate flower, an emperor’s gift

And offer it to a perfect stranger.