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"A Clear Shade of Color"

January 18, 2021

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A poem by Emma Seley

Emma Seley, 16, is a junior at Wyomissing Area Junior/Senior High School in Pennsylvania, where she is a writer and editor for the school newspaper and co-editor of the yearbook. She is pictured here with a resident of a children’s home in Talamarang, Nepal, at which she worked during a National Geographic student expedition in July, 2019.

A Clear Shade of Color

By Emma Seley


It’s almost as if colors meant words
Or as if words meant colors

Or maybe none of it signifies anything And it’s all just part of a trap

A trap that we all live in
Yet are so unaware
Like maybe the color yellow Cowardice and illness

We all accept what we’re told
And never question that maybe we’re not yellow
But black
The piercing nothingness everyone considers brown
Like comfort
Comforted is what we all aim to be

I feel blue everyday
Sometimes I have moments of gray Where I feel secure and solid
But most of the time I feel cold

It isn’t a bad thing
It’s just brown, a mix of both
Almost as if I am comforted by the mix of colors
By the tension of arrogant purple mixing with passionate red

What doesn’t mix is my green shade of spiritually
A pale, but very vibrant olive green

Along with the dark shadows of black Mourning my ego death of what once was And what now is
Accepting that whatever is to come

Will return me to my bright pop of yellow philosophy and optimism

Oh, but it’s not over yet
I haven’t given up my purple enlightenment My purple mystery of the age old question What’s next?
What is next

White signifies innocence

But it also means death
Is one better than another?
Do we really die or
Or are we just brown and purple mixed tightly
Atom by atom
Maybe we’re all just earth experiencing itself in human form
I can’t help but address this
It is burning a hole in my brain
And growing mold in the depths of my stomach

Knowing that we cannot assign a single color
Because the color is us
The color is what we experience Every single day

But not all people are able to escape their arrogant shade of purple
Only some look out of their assigned colored bubble

To realize it doesn’t have color at all It doesn’t even have a name

We’re just clear, see through beings Made from a Big Bang collusion
Living on a floating rock
Appearing to be a comforting, soft brown So we look down and do what we’re told So that comforting shade of brown Doesn’t one day turn clear on us Revealing what’s underneath

"A Clear Shade of Color"

January 18, 2021

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