In peaches and cream dresses and pigtails,

Button-up shirts and belted in trousers,

We learned to speak in a whimsical dialect of dreams.

Finding a prince or princess became our touchdown.

Living in a massive castle, our finish line.

Wearing glass slippers and hundred dollar basketball shoes,

our definition of happiness.


In our earliest days,

Drawing was a regular pastime.

We latched our miniscule arms onto art supplies,

As if our doodles held answers worth protecting,

As if our hearts beat with each stroke of a chubby crayon,

As if glee electrifies our nerves with each speck of colored residue,

Left under our teensy tiny nails.

Those are the reasons why we loved to draw.


We breathed life

Into crooked little monsters,

The kind that hid in the shadows that our nightlights couldn't reach.

We slashed our fears by seeing them materialized before our wide eyed,

Fill-in-the-blank grins.

When we popped open a box,

We never saw merely colors.

Blue metamorphosized into an azure sky,

The perfect backdrop to cotton-candy clouds.

Black hugged the very stars and moon in a goliath embrace,

Protecting the light within velvety dark curtains.

Brown inched down arms in sweet, cold tendrils as

Chocolate ice cream that found the holder worth melting for, every time.

Red blossomed into the hue of our chipmunk cheeks,

When we laughed much more than necessary,

but not enough to brake us to a stop.


Yet, there always comes a day,

When we stop putting color and words and life to paper.

Days, months, years pass,

Calendar lines blur,

Routine acts as the sandpaper against the terrain of our lives.

Our minds become over-saturated,

In memos, college applications, bills upon bills, and energy pills.

The only storybooks that truly matter,

Are the ones stamped with "Agenda",

A schedule widdled down into

Activities that can bring more greens into wallets that always look only half full,

Thus leaving us with the bitter aftertaste

Of being fully empty.

The ability to live without contempt for what we do, becomes our touchdown.

A home full of loved ones, safe and sound, our finish line.

An ability to place our hearts on the line,

And to have someone willing to listen and pick up our calls for help-

Our real definition of




And all childhood heirlooms of the like,

Were smothered into boxes we crammed away,

Long ago, past the point of no return.

And though our eyes have trekked far past the

Pastel colored, padded safety of daycares,

The colors we see as we

Finally pop a box open,

Greet us with uneasy familiarity,

For we see that


Blue has distorted into the shape of a small cross

On the only test she wished so desperately to fail,

Since she already feels society chanting repeatedly,

That she failed as a person,

To be carrying another person inside of her

So early in the game-

As if she had a choice.

Black has smothered itself into the dark alleyway

A homeless man sleeps in,

As he scoffs at the saying, “Home is Where the Heart is”,

For he knows that even though his heart is clearly beating,

No one else has the heart to allow him to make a home,

Even if it’s outside their store doors.

Red has exploded into crimson florets within the water of his bathroom sink,

Much like the bouquets they will place onto his coffin,

Because no one reassured him

That it is not his fault

If he can’t control if his heart beats for another man.

So he silenced that heartbeat himself.

And Brown has become the dust that surrounds the girl,

As she walks in the rubble of the aftermath.

Brown is the hue of the dry bandage that puts up a futile effort,

to keep too much of her from pouring out.

Brown was the color of her little brother’s eyes-

Eyes that will never open again,

Because total strangers marked her home as their



Despite all our fears,

We no longer yearn to conjure up those monsters

Onto paper in order to tame them.

Some people

Dodge around the monsters as they dine,

Bypass the monsters as they drive,

Turn their heads the other way as the monsters swarm

In every news broadcast, on every street corner,

Within the eyes that have lost hope for help.

Some of us never grow older.

Such people live in a numblike state, only


More seconds, days, months, and years

In the final tally of their life spans.

We are scared of such injustice because

We fear of being broken too,

Being vulnerable enough to be shattered,

Becoming our own fears,

Our own monsters.


There are people beckoning for

A hand to hold, an ear to listen, a voice to speak, a heart to beat when they lose the drive to live.

We have the moral


To build bridges using colors that will allow others to want to see the light again,

To remind them that

Blue still flutters by in the form of a butterfly,

Brown still melts as chocolate in s’mores,

Black still tastes sweet as candy-store licorice,

And red still blossoms in your cheeks when you’re with someone you love.

These are the reasons why we all should love to love again.


We should latch our arms around ourselves and around others

As if within each other, we’ll find answers worth protecting,

As if our hearts beat with each handshake, high-five, utterance of “I love you”,

As if glee electrifies our nerves with every second we spend,

Learning to erase the flaws of others and choosing to love them,

Over and over again.


We were all children that once saw the world with crayons.

Drawing is an innate ability,

We’ll inevitably pass down to those that come after us.

But let us also teach our children,

That if colors work a double-duty,

Of Good and Bad,

They should approach both


With hearts and minds as open,

As wide as their bright little eyes.


Because we all know, that the only true monsters in the world,

Are those we don’t bother to understand.




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