Poetically Yours Ep. 27 - A Color Can Mean So Much
Welcome to this week's Poetically Yours. Poetically Yours showcases works by northern Illinois poets. This week we share a poem by Paige Monet Wright of FourPoets, OneMic.
Wright was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia but moved to Illinois at the age of 14. She and her older sister were raised mainly by their mother.
Wright is a sophomore at Northern Illinois University studying biological sciences. She says she wants to be a pediatrician so that she can help children stay healthy and safe.
Wright fell in love with writing in elementary school. In addition to poetry, she writes comic books and scripts with her cousin, which are later developed into stories. Wright is working towards publishing some of her original works. To help reach her goal, she joined the spoken word performance and poetry organization FourPoets, OneMic when she was a freshman.
Some of her other hobbies include cooking, listening music, reading and spending time with close friends and family. Wright says she loves all of her hobbies and will continue to maintain a proper balance between them.
In her poem "Blue," Wright describes how this color is represented in her life.
Blue is a very powerful color
It's in the sky every time we look up
It's in our oceans
It's a calm soothing color that can mean peace
But it's also the color of the lights we see when we something happens
Somehow eliciting fear within us
It's the color that hangs around when you're feeling as though nothing in the world is making sense
It has a magic that many other colors don’t possess
An enchanting presence that's always there
Making us trust them
Lured by its beauty but stung by its actions
I always wonder if my life would be different if I had blue eyes
Would I be treated different?
Would I look at the world as colorfully as I do now?
Would the cycle continue and I be held captive by a woman I've never met
I'd be more different than I am now
More angry because I'd have another thing to be self-conscious about
More likely to bring up a past my family wants to keep buried
Blue is the eye color of a woman I've never even met but who shares blood with me
A woman who I think about often
Wondering why she feels so entitled by the world
Thinking about her glassed eyes and drunken smile
The shame her family must have put on her when she got pregnant by a black man
The pain she might have felt at giving her baby away
And the gratitude I feel because she ended the cycle changing my family's history
Blue lights were the first thing I saw coming home from school one day
Flashing urgently towards the front of my neighborhood
From my spot I could see a motorcycle lying flat
A limp body next to it covered by a white body bag
Blue uniforms surrounding the site
Walkie talkies making noise
I couldn't breathe for a moment
Feeling grief over the man who lived next door that I never got to know
I think it's funny how a color can hold so much weight
How it can mean so many different things to so many different people
For many blue could mean something lighter something softer
But for me blue is a grief I've never quite shaken
It holds a power that scares me
Giving me a feeling I can never get to go away
No matter how hard I try
- Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.