Friday, July 30, 2010

Color of a Hungry Shadow


Color of a Hungry Shadow

for C.M.

The man asked, "What color is a hungry
shadow?"--intending to leave it at that,
a question. I answered, "Green." What
color is the sound of people turning
away, as if you were a frayed edge
of something cheap? Some in that crowd
once rejected me personally. That's

about as intimate as failure gets.
"Gray." See them now congealed
into a sluggish coil, gray raincoats
on their backs. They walk away back
to their task of arbitration. They

determine who among us shall be
heard, and they never listen: that's
the way it works. Kafka smelled
their souls. Dickinson ignored them,
returning cold fire. What's the color
of succeeding on your own terms?
Name it. You get to name it.

Copyright 2010 Hans Ostrom

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