By Kwame Dawes
Of course, the “elderly couple” in Adrienne Christian’s witty and tenderly observed poem “Portrait of Pink, or Blush,” likely, if they are like me, do not imagine themselves to be “elderly,” but what they will appreciate is the sensuality of Christian’s observation. The delicate sentiment in the poem lies in the suggestion that it is Christian who may be the blushing voyeur at the end of the day, and that, of course, is lovely and generous.
Portrait of Pink, or Blush
when today at a bistro
an elderly couple in jeans, leather
bomber jackets, and heeled boots
stepped down from their stools
to stand and go home–
him behind her,
his bomber jacket zipper
a spine at her back,
him wrapping on her scarf
the heart-shaped cookie she nibbled
the shape of her mouth,
that cookie, puffy,
with still-soft icing white and rose–
the anthropology of blush
Poem copyright 2020 by Adrienne Christian, “Portrait of Pink, or Blush” from “All the Songs We Sing,” edited by Lenard D. Moore (Blair/Carolina Wren Press, 2020.) Poem reprinted by permission of the author and the publisher. American Life in Poetry is made possible by the Poetry Foundation and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.We do not accept unsolicited submissions.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Spokane7 email newsletter
Get the day’s top entertainment headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.