Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Keeping Company with the Figment of Blue

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As the blue jay flew
ahead of us through the woods,
you said, from the new
purlieu of adulthood, you know,
its blue is a figment: a mere construct
of feathers and light.

I did know, wanted to say
I did know but did
not say it, having sometime learned
when not to speak; having loved
that bird and its blueness;
having made it yours
since that distant day I held you
up to the sky in woods like these and heard
its blue "skreee" mix with your cry.

Figments spread color between
the broad black outlines of every day,
big fat pigments teasing delight from
the sun’s prism that we hoard and parse:
my favorite always the mystery
of blue, deepening into purple and out,
or circling back
into the powerful ram of red.

All that I know I don’t
know keeps me company
sits with me in a moment of ease
like an old friend.

This current bird leads the two of us
down the leaf-spattered path

landing and taking off

from branch to branch

holding on and letting go,

holding on, letting go, then

darting into what we can never
know: the rest of life.

Nameless, beloved, I watch you watch it
dip wings before pivoting,
vanishing, a flash
of blue, slant
to the sun.


Kathleen Dale’s poems have appeared in many journals. She was the featured poet in The Centrifugal Eye’s “Sinkhole: Drowning or Surviving-—Themes on Coping in Poetic Form” in Winter/Spring 2013, and in the anthology Malala: Poems for  Malala Yousafzai. She lives in Milwaukee, WI, with her husband. They have three grown daughters. Please visit her website for information about her chapbooks and work as a poetry mentor.


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