Red vs. Green

Where I grew up, red was in the rocks
and the sky on both ends of the day,
with accents of sage or pine green.
Here, the rare red stands out
like a mysterious stranger
at a small-town church, rebellious
as a teacher’s tattoo. Red, not green,
marks new growth, from budding leaf
to blossom, from random shoot
to persimmon tree, scarlet
enhancing unrelenting green,
entrancing, glimpsed in flashes
like a cardinal’s wing or a dancer’s
underskirt in the middle of a spin.
Destined to opposition, from the spectrum
to the traffic light, red and green rarely meet.
Green thinks red gets all the attention;
red says, “I’m a pigment, not a philosophy,
but if it were up to me, I would always say ‘go!’”

Inspired by Word of the Day Challenge and a Creative Writing Center prompt that said, “Pick your favorite color and write down everywhere you see it.”

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