Color By Number Holiday



Highlight the 1s with gold

when it’s the time of year we all flock like geese,

swooping and swirling towards the South.

Reverting to our original stomping grounds.

Easing back into the life we used to call our own.

The sounds, the smells,

the voices, and feelings

are familiar.

Sunshine-y and lovely to look at;

our most prized possessions lined up on a shelf.


Paint the 2s with blue

when I’m sitting crossed-legged on my childhood bed,

looking at my childhood walls.

Staring at the room that I’ve known for over 15 years.

The lavender walls I begged for mock me while the photographs

of those I once knew line the walls.

I’m home.

Living out of a suit case in my once-home house,

feeling strange taking food

from the used-to-be-mine fridge.


Stain the 3s

with shards of crimson

when I feel anger bubble up from somewhere I’ve never known.

My parents ask me

“Where are you going?”

“What are you doing?”

All this accountability is something I had forgotten.

Something I thought only teenager-me would have to deal with.

But somehow, I am still here in my once-home house with my

always-there family.


And when you shade in the 4s

with the gray blurry blobs of

the high-school girl I once knew,

understand that she’s now a stranger.


Dark forests of green should fill the voids of

the 5s

as I realize my friends have changed

and I have not.

They know what they want

and how they’re going to get there.

They have internships

and careers

and something called stability.

And I’m jealous,

making the green of pure



creep toward the black barriers that outline

those 5s

like weeds taking over a garden.

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