Poets logo

Rainbow (Sestina)

by Lacey Doddrow about a year ago in performance poetry
Report Story

a self in six colors

My mother says I was an easy birth, arriving as a red

faced infant with flailing fists, my first jewelry the orange

hospital bracelet marked with the family name. A yellow

knit cap for my tiny head, pale against the green

hospital sheets in faded photos. Destined not for blue,

I was the first girl in a generation, a princess in pink and purple.

As a child, I loved things soft - blankets, forts, a purple

stuffed dragon named Stormy. I, too, was soft, not seeing red

When my brother ripped Stormy’s legs off, instead in a teary blue

Mood for days. I cried, grief for a tale I had loved to tell, for the orange

flames that lit up my imagination, us flying together over the green

pastures of his storyland, their fields now withered and yellow.

I found solace in books, sturdy shelves full of yellow

pages and pristine new releases. I fell in love with the color purple,

devoured the stories of women who ate fried green

tomatoes (a food I only ever knew to be cold and red.)

I scrawled my child’s signature on the heavy cardstock of an orange

library card, then used it long enough to fade the ink a soft blue.

Books made me a student, too, analysis scribbled down in blue

exam books underneath the flickering fluorescent yellow

light of a classroom. I cherished the star shaped stickers, orange

adhesive bursts, a declaration of “Good Job!” in a teacher’s purple

pen. (I came of age in a generation when the use of red

for corrections was gauche; my favorite teacher used electric green.)

Literary dreams carried me to a college far away. That spring, green

buds and sprouts shocked me. I’d never seen skies so blue

after my first winter spent in greys and whites. Still, I missed the red

cliffs of my home state, mountains on the horizon, the searing yellow

of its summertime sun. At graduation, I wore a satin purple

sash and black robes, my mother’s digital camera flashing orange.

I had learned to be good, now I learned to be happy, peeling an orange

like Wendy Cope. I tried quieting my brain with that beloved green

herb, took up meditation, tended pots full of delicate purple

blossoms. Wanting to be better than I had been, I agreed to blue

pills that made me less frightened and a bit more sweaty. I signed yellow

carbon paper at the doctor’s office, let them take my blood, warm and red.

I am the orange smears of an Arizona sunset, the cyan blue of a chlorinated pool.

I am an inner siren flashing red, the swirling purple-black of eyes peacefully closed.

I am the marbled green of a gold-nibbed pen, the yellow wallpaper of a brave protagonist.

performance poetry

About the author

Lacey Doddrow

hedonist, storyteller, solicited advice giver, desert dweller

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2022 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.