Number 6: A Poem

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

and watercolors.


Sometimes, she envied her friends for the ease of their

predetermined lines,

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.




Years later,

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

The freedom

Grateful for the coloring book-less childhood

from which she emerged with absolutely no respect for the lines. ♥


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