A peaceful color, grey (plus red)

"A peaceful color, grey.
Something to turn into as you exhume time,
The traditions of mothers and fathers
Becoming slowly immortal: grandmothers,
And grandfathers, and so on, and so on:
Tortoise grey:
Fire breaks which distil the flames of youth,
And douse the tendencies for strangling suicides,
And speeding on confusing highways:
Grey of professors, and grey of established
Wiser uncles who have given up on the family
Business and taken to wearing spectacles,
The grey of the scuppernongs on vines of
Chain-link fences in northern yards beside
Sprawling lakes,
The grey of the first cat who was your reward
For learning to go where you should go
When you needed to,
Grey of thick rope trustworthy by ships for
Knotting anchors,
And grey for the frothing sea in a tumult against
The foreign hull, like a splinter in the unfathomable
And grey for the sky when the earth is furthest away
From the sun, when rain freezes and becomes
Gentler falling and a deadlier paradox,
Grey for mice who are not cartoons,
Grey for the mothers’ closing wombs,
Grey for some of her eyes,
Grey for long good-byes,
And for the German Shepherd’s panting tongue,
Grey for that part of the moon shyly in the shadows
Watching her from the sky,
Grey for the inevitability of true loves which come with
Time, after the stores are closed and the nights
Are all but empty save for the red leaves threatening
To tear away,
Grey from the lovesick heart walking alone the empty avenue,
Grey for the silent movies and phone calls,
And the birds who never learned to fly.
Grey is the open hand waiting for you,
And the open tomb.
Grey will never be Japanese, but eventually
Everything else will find grey, but find my lips
As I find you,
And we will find grey together."

(Bret R. Crabrooke: Grey)

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