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Sunday, June 12, 2022


by B. Fulton Jennes

We don’t ask the flowers to all be daisies,
or dogs to be only dachshunds.
We wouldn’t want all flags to be red, white, and blue,
(although some people would, and that’s a sad truth).
Valentine’s Day would disappoint
if those heart-shaped boxes
contained nothing but nougat,
and we’d suffer if orchestras
were nothing but bassoons.
Think what we’d miss
if all songs were sung in D minor,
all rooms painted Chantilly blue.
The nights would be darker
if heaven held only blue dwarfs.
A forest planted with nothing but maples
would be stark in winter.
If all roads led south,
wouldn’t we miss east and west?
A childhood of puzzles and no other toys,
schools of sturgeon filling the freshwaters
and exclusively stingrays at sea,
libraries with shelves stacked solely with sci-fi,
rom-com the only choice in new film fare,
all eggs, runny, sunny-side-up,
all coffee, decaf, black,
all shoes, brown leather, size 7,
all towels green, all sheets unfitted,
blue ink only in non-retractable pens,
no choice but Times New Roman
to write an essay, eulogy, or epistle…
We didn’t ask for only.
We don’t want only.
We weren’t born only.
We were born blonde, brunette, jet-haired, red,
oval-faced, round, square and pear,
thick-thighed and thin, tall and petite,
in a rainbow of skin colors,
a hodgepodge of histories,
a symphony of sexualities,
a jumble of genders,
with loves gifted by God, not governments.
So don’t ask a rainbow to be only red.
We will not be only.

B. Fulton Jennes is Poet Laureate of Ridgefield, CT, where she serves as poet-in-residence at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. Her poems have appeared in The Comstock Review, Tupelo Quarterly, The Night Heron Barks, Limp Wrist, Tar River Poetry, SWIMM, Anti-Heroin Chic, Pareidolia Literary, Extreme Sonnets II, and many other journals and anthologies. Her collection Mammoth Spring was a finalist for the 2021 Two Sylvias Wilder Prize and the Small Harbor Press Laureate Prize. Her chapbook Blinded Birds (Finishing Line Press), released in April of 2022, was named Winner of the 2022 International Book Awards in the Poetry: Chapbook category.