I knew a blinded, burning boy,
Whose life was spent in black,
But he was smarter, wiser than,
All those who were unlike that.
He'd lost his eyes at a young age,
Seven, in Midwest fields,
When his mother cried and policemen tried,
To stop his young life’s yield.
I met him when he stood onstage,
Smiling, his milk-white eyes,
They greeted us with warmly glance,
And pinned us in their sight.
“I’ve been asked too many times,
What blind men think of life.
Well, let me tell you, friends of mine,
I see more than you might.
You think that I’ve forgotten,
How to see the world’s shades,
Well, I’ll give you an example, friends,
Of what I see every day.
I know you know the color red,
How would you describe its hue?”
He listens to us as we list off,
The shade of red’s contrast to blue.
I call to mind its anger,
The brightness of its gaze,
The way its cut breaks through the skin,
And beads across your face.
He nods and listens, smiles then,
“Yes, it’s a color, true.
But when I see the color red,
I don’t see it as you do.
Red is the color of blood and wailing,
It’s the ambulance I heard on my walk,
It’s the tone of a mother, cried in desperation,
Pleading for her daughter to talk.
It’s the smell of wine dropped onto the ground,
When I find my wife covered in lies,
And two glasses sat neatly beside our bed,
I touched the glass, and felt it red-bright.
Red is the color of anger,
When my father’s hand slapped me in my eyes,
I caressed my cheek to feel red stinging,
The bright blood rising fast as my cries.
I felt the red in the way that he,
Looked at me every day,
His gaze pierced through my blackness:
‘Mom, I feel quite frightened today.’
Red is the color of slipping on pavement,
Tasting grass crunching into my teeth,
And red is the sound of me spitting out dirt,
As my friends laugh too-loud above me,
Red is the feel of divorce papers,
That crinkle across my blind skin,
It’s the paper cut, stinging, across my signature,
Begging me to escape everything.
I feel red in the pits of my despair,
I feel it in the razor I held,
When I tasted the saltiness, red of my blood,
And thought too much about visiting hell.
Red is the color of hopelessness,
Of grief, and newly ripe pain,
When my anger twists itself up so bright and hot,
I feel Hatred burn its soul into my brain.
Red is the scent of passion,
In the roses we used to share,
And the scent of tires screeching stains onto pavement,
And that girl’s body twisting midair.
Yes red can be equal to love, to forevers,
But all I hear is a mother’s wail,
As red brings grief that lasts so long,
‘Eternity’ feels bleak and pale.
So you think that my dead white eyes,
Cannot see the color red?
Oh, I’ve seen it far more clearly than you,
It’s what I’ve bled and bled and bled.”
I was awestruck, I went to him,
Asked him how he managed to see,
And capture the complexities of the brightness of red,
Pin it all down so neatly for me.
He smiled at me, shook his blind head,
Spoke words I’ll never forget,
“It’s not seeing the hue that’s important.
It’s remembering all the things you regret.
Red is the color of bright-hot pain,
Pain, I’ve known all of my life,
My blind, helpless eyes cannot see my heart break,
But I’ve felt so many thousands of knives.”
About the Creator
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