The Green Scarf

Early on in my poetry residency at Seabrook Village, I passed around a silk scarf and invited each resident to tell us what it reminded him or her of:  what  time  of  day,  what  season,  a  place  they’ve  been,  a  possession,  a  scent, a sound, a memory.

We gathered a line here and there from everyone in the room and—together—created a scarf of words, a poem far more beautiful than the real thing.

It is the color of sea foam,
the color of the wave coming in
before it turns to white frost.
It reminds me of the Sunday dress
my mother sewed just for me, the dress
my mother bought me to wear for a wedding,
the one I spilled nail polish remover on.
It’s the color of spring, of new growth
on trees, of fresh-colored leaves, of happiness.
It’s not the color of the ocean, it’s too green,
more like April and youth.
It’s the color of mist, the color paint
I’d use to create a piece of sky.
I remember seeing it once on a motor trip
along a stretch of burnt out fields:
It is the color of new life arising
from the dead earth. It is the color
you’d find at the edge of the sea,
the flow and ebb along the beach.
Through my eyes, it’s the color of moss
growing beside a lake after sundown.
It’s the green of trees
beginning to bloom, mint candy.
It reminds me of tall evergreens, a lake,
green grass, colorful flowers.
In it, see the palest ray of sunlight shining
upon an orchard of green pears.
It is an apple-colored fog, fresh cut grass,
peppermint, the perfume
from a woman in a pretty dress.
It reminds me of the Coty fragrance Emeraude.
It is the color of gelato, of warm breeze
off the ocean, the smell of clean air.
It’s the color of the room I enter to find peace.
The soft sound of leaves, the sound
of curtains blowing in the wind,
the tart sound of biting into
a granny smith apple.
It is the color of quiet sobbing.
It is the calm of the artist,
the color inside my heart.
It is the color of the man who is
falling in love with you
this very moment.

by Joan, Merle, Lillian, Estelle, Jean, Grace, Joan, Kate Ann Marie, Blanche, Rosalind, Ann