Her Color

May 5, 2017

Today’s poem is Her Color by Sheila Gray Jordan. Sheila lives year round on Chebeague Island and is the author of three collections of poems, Winter Wall, The China in the Sea and, most recently, Blue Ceiling. She directed the Ohio Poetry Circuit at Kenyon College in Ohio.

Sheila writes, “Aging, sooner or later, in our parents, in ourselves, in our society, is something we all come to. We consider and talk about it in so many ways. At 83, I believe I am qualified. And with a mother who lived to 102, my experience is further deepened. Around me my friends are departing, growing infirm, ill, choosing assisted living out of necessity or for precaution. “

Her Color
by Sheila Gray Jordan

Without the blue ceiling,
will she recognize her house?
On the porch, finding blue lath
above her, she is there,
under her own roof.
Three steps up – hold fast
to the railing – five to cross
to the door, white like any other,
but blue is her stop,
and the key fits.
It’s a bright day.
They point to the sun
high in the azure sky,
holding her arm, as they carry
her bags into Assisted Living.
Down the long hall, the doors,
one by one, are white,
until a knob turns into a room,
painted freshly blue. Blue?
A so-called boy’s shade,
but always her favorite.
It’s your color, they tell her
and leave her there.

Poem Copyright 2016, Sheila Gray Jordan.
Reprinted from Blue Ceiling, Stone Sloop Books, 2016
by permission of Sheila Gray Jordan.