Poetically Yours Ep. 27 - A Color Can Mean So Much

Feb 5, 2021

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. 

Paige Monet of FourPoets, OneMic.
Credit Provided by Paige Monet.

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 jaded

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.