Stains of Red

Stains of Red

The first time I saw my Dad cry

We were standing in a raspberry field.

My fingers were covered in crimson juice, 

fresh and sweet and slightly sticky.

That morning the TV wouldn’t stop repeating

Pictures of smoke, planes flying into the towers.

At the time I did not pay much attention to the news,

But I wanted nothing more than to make my Dad smile.

I proudly showed him the carton, fruit overflowing. 

That night we made raspberry shortcake. 


The first time I got my period 

was at the Philadelphia Art Show,

which has to be some kind of symbolic irony.

It seems fitting that I blossomed into a woman 

In a room surrounded by budding flowers.

I learned about periods in health class,

but for some reason I was still surprised.

I knew I was supposed to feel older, but instead

I spent the rest of the day terrified

of ruining my white shorts with blood.


The first time I painted my lips scarlet, 

I was taken aback by my own reflection. 

In many ways I looked exactly the same, 

Yet there was something noticeably different.

I tried biting my lip like I saw in the magazines.

Sexy. Seductive. Mysterious. Mature.

I quickly wiped off the lipstick,

Opting for a clear gloss instead.

However, despite my best efforts,

My lips remained a subtle taint of red.


The first time I saw him on the playground

he was being made fun of by a group of boys.

They picked on him for the color of his hair.

It's legend that gingers steal souls from others.

Personally his hair reminded me of the beach, 

The way the sunset flames hit the pale sand. 

He did not need to steal anything from me, 

I would gladly give him anything he wanted. 

With him everything was new, filled with butterflies, 

Flushed cheeks, through rose colored glasses.