Holding her tiny hand

     I moved it to the very spot

          where yellow, green, and lavender

               shone in morning light

                    through my prism'd windowpane.

She smiled, for never, ever

     in her two-yeared world

          had she ever, ever

               held a rainbow in her hand,

                    dancing lightly on her palm.

A wonder, made of colors,

     so...she laughed...

          her hand dropping from the spot,

               becoming simply flesh again,

                    the blues and reds all gone.

Bereft, she looked up to my face,

     eyes saying, "Act...make it good!"

          and so I did, guiding her

               where the light shimmered high,

                     holding fast her arm.

Delight renewed, tiny fingers curled,

     for she would hold it tight,

          not letting it escape again from her,

               possessing it,

                    drawing it downward to her size.

Again...and yet again she grasped,

     eyes clouding now with tears...

          how COULD a thing so beautiful,

              so colored on her palm,

                   NOT be willed to move?

Thus, she saw first in her life

     that rainbows are a thing


               a concept, new and puzzling,

                     unwelcome to her heart.

And though the colors lingered there

     upon the book-lined shelf,

          she turned away

               and looked no more

                    at things too new, too hard.

But I, now white with years,

     have learned the rainbow's ways

          and every chance I get

               put forth my palm

                    to let one dance.

And, so, it takes some living

     for us to come to terms

          with things upon our palms,

               shining brightly,

                    that are not ours to hold.




Jo Anzalone 7-23-2004