For Emily, who didn’t have coloring books
Her mother wouldn’t let her have coloring books
for fear that she would learn to color within the lines.
Instead, she gave her blank white pieces of paper
and charcoal pencils
Sometimes, she envied her friends for the ease of their
the boundaries mapped out in Hard Black Definition
clear and precise.
The Blankness of her paper was sometimes overwhelming —
It could be anything.
A cat at a tea party
or a girl riding a unicorn
or her mood in color and shape.
she does still (sometimes) envy another for the apparent
Hard Black Definition of their life.
She sees them glide through, seemingly effortless
while she feels, occasionally,
in an open and empty sea.
But, More Often,
She knows now
what her mother knew then:
That openness is potential
that emptiness will be filled
blank pages and calendar spaces
Alive and Full and Colorful
with adventures dreamed up and hustled for and created by
Now, she lives in gratitude for
The blank page
The clean slate
Grateful for the coloring book-less childhood
from which she emerged with absolutely no respect for the lines. ♥