distant view of Golden Gate Bridge at sunset, seen across rooftops of houses

The Year the Colors Changed

Remember the year the colors changed?
When a strange redistribution of sun rays
Started making rainbows in pastel shades?
When pigments once buried in living-room walls
Would rise to paint the post-rain skies,
Laws of physics giving way to peach and beige?

We longed for restoration at first,
Hunting for red in the pink, yellow in the ivory,
Comfort in the known. No brightness came.
We declared The End of All Things,
Our gazes turned upward and away
From the tempests in our homes.

Weeks passed, refracted in the ochre sky,
And softer light-streams came to signify
The passing of downpour into sunshine.
Soon enough we found our peace
Beneath these arches of butter cream,
Watching storms turn into bows of lavender.

On easy days we prayed to temperate gods,
Hoping they would pacify human hearts
With hints of mauve and honeydew.
In hard times we felt sure we could discern
Labouring clouds, weak from ultraviolet,
Painting our pain in periwinkle and mint.

Jester of shades, the playful atmosphere
Returned the spectrum before the year was out:
Crimson to indigo in seven shiny ribbons.
Now and then, when vapors condense,
Our memories coat the fresher firmament
With lofty streaks of apple-grey and bone.