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Red. White. Blue.


Stripes. Radishes make me think of Gone with the Wind. Strawberries going bad in my refrigerator because I bought too many. Felt Tip Pen my teacher used for grading. Cap of the syrup bottle, sticky. Petunias Robb planted on my most pregnant summer. Lego logo on the kitchen table, as Tyler builds a garbage truck. My favorite shoes, a goodwill find. Too many of my scarves, and yet I am drawn to more. Blood on their elbows from falling in the cul de sac yesterday. Spicy Jelly Beans, the cinnamon kind from Jelly Belly. My reading glasses that I wish were my everyday glasses because they’re cuter than my everyday. My favorite crayon in the kindergarten box. Knee socks I wore with my school uniform. The Elmo cake I made for Tucker’s second birthday, the immaculate image of Elmo himself, still so accurate it impresses even me. Red Draw Two, UNO. Dangly earrings that make noise in my ears. Anger. Fury. Rojo. Sleeping bag that’s never quite rolled up the right way. My home, the best lot in the area, nestled between two cul de sacs. My favorite accent color, always.


Stripes. Clouds. Milk filling half the glass, never fully finished. Daisies drooping in the vase on my table, so thirsty for more water. Sport socks that I need to buy more of for the boys. Underwear that is folded and yet not put away, following the natural course of laundry at my house. Elmer’s Glue. Eyeliner for girls who are not me. The letters on the UNO Wild Card. The coffee cup I love most for the inscription: A wish for laughter on your lips. My grandmother’s table cloth. The paper behind the words. Roses. The throw pillows on my bed. Blanco. Purity. Stars.


Behind the stars on the flag, the stars in the sky. Tyler’s lego jammies. The coffee cup I love most for its shape, how it feels in my hand. The bottom of the swimming pool. A sundress from target. My favorie flip flops. Blue Reverse, UNO. The ADT sign that has no power in itself but helps me sleep through the night. A color I avoid relentlessly at the nail salon. Robb’s lips. And his favorite color. Azul. Loyalty.

Red, White, Blue.
The foundation of my comfort,
and the details of my life’s free choices.

Tricia Lott Williford

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