Martha Collins

Martha Collins

Coloring In

In the infant’s brain,
             color is seen
on the right side: there are
             no colors, just color.

In the child’s brain,
             when colors are given
names, they are seen on the left,
             as separate, distinct.

In the child’s first drawings, 
             air is white, as are 
the insides of outlined 
             people and things.

In the next drawings, color 
             is basic, bright, 
yellow is sun, red is house, 
             green is grass, black 

sometimes outlines people 
             and things, people 
are brown or pink or sometimes
             white as air is still white.

MARTHA COLLINS’s tenth book of poetry is Because What Else Could I Do (Pittsburgh, 2019). Other volumes include a triology focusing on race: Blue Front (2006), White Papers (2012), and Admit One: An American Scrapbook (2016). Collins lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.