Flying Eagle Water Colors

Flying Eagle Water Colour, 12 Colours
September 14, 2008

It seemed a shrewd trade
at the time — a bulging
Ziploc bag of stickers
for a box of Flying Eagle
Water Colours, with magical
names like Prussian Blue, Vermillion,
Chrome Yellow Mid.,
and Emerald Green.

Charles disagreed, assured me
that the allure of Cobalt Blue
would fade, and I would yearn
for my “Kick Me” stickers.
He felt I should have invested
more wisely. For example,
give him the stickers, and then bask
in the Yellow Ochre warmth
of a good deed, done for a loyal friend.

I relinquished to Andrea the 1001 Funny Stickers,
accepted the exotic hues
from far away China
to reflect the Lemon Yellow rays of my imagination
in more than oriental splendor.

But then, for twenty years,
not much happened.

The Burnt Sienna petrified.
The Carmine coagulated a little.
The box travelled
with me across an ocean
and through five or six moves,
never used for anything
but a conversation starter,

until I caught the Light Green
eyes of my artist,
and knew, at last, that
I had traded well.

I expect, now rediscovered, the paints
will quickly be used up, turning many
Black and White shadows
into a spectrum of
images so long boxed up and carried around