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Fall Colors

By Judith Raices

You wear your elegant final shades of mustard, amber and curry like Easter bonnets.

“Notice me,” you say, “since I’ll go elsewhere until spring and then return as chartreuse.”

I do notice.

I take every second of it in, knowing in six weeks, there will be only dark brown and gray, occasionally covered in white. 

I hate to say goodbye to the warmth of greens.

Like the trees, my body turned vivid colors.  No one warned me this would happen, or that I would be so alarmed.  I noted those color names too: mauve, red and blue plum, and finally a dark, dirty yellow as the bruises faded.

I looked beaten to a pulp, especially my arms and legs.  The doctor said, “Stop taking the coated aspirin you’ll have enough blood thinner with just the Plavix”.  He added, “be patient” as I counted some 50 bruises.

Naming colors gives them identity.  One would not leave a newborn unnamed.  Everyone knows what color mustard is, more or less; it’s yellow with a hint of brown.  What I had in mind though is Colman’s; the dry powdered brand that comes in a tin.

My father’s eyes were the brightest blue I‘d ever seen that day. 

I didn’t know he’d already died when I saw him on the gurney being raced to x-ray.

He’d had a massive cerebral hemorrhage.

There’s no name for that shade of blue.

I bid farewell to mustard amber and curry.  I can taste them in my mind when I can no longer see them.

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