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Palette: A poem

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DECEMBER 17, 2022

White. The color of the tops of the slow, pulsing waves propelling my ship to shore. The sparkle on the water reminds me of the sparkle in my kid sister’s eyes. Three thousand miles and who knows how many years until I see those eyes again.

Golden brown. The color of my skin in the scorching sun. I’m not used to weather like this; it’s nice. It feels warm and not at all like home. I think I will like it here.

Maroon. The color of the polish my mother used on my nails before I left. It’s been her favorite color for as long as I can remember. I told myself I’d always paint my nails maroon to remind myself of her, but I never do as good a job as she did.

Pink. The color of the smiles all around me. Boisterous, beaming grins from toddlers experiencing their first taste of freedom. Thin-lipped, obligatory raises of lips from men whose only thoughts are money and power. The sheepish contour of my own mouth. What will this journey bring?

Black. The color of the steps from the ship to shore. The doorway to my next chapter. The border between who I was and who I will be.

Purple. The color of the bruises on my body, begotten from bumping into turnstiles and ship railings. I never was graceful. But maybe I will be in this new place. 

Orange. The color of nostalgia and the sunsets back home. I used to swing my legs off of my roof with my childhood friends as we watched the sun make its descent. We made figures in the sky with our fingers, trying to make sense of the shapes above us. I know life will never be the same. 

Gray. The color of the fog and mist over the water, clouding my view of everything I have ever known. I fear that one day I will forget. I don’t want to forget.

Contact Anoushka Singal at 


DECEMBER 17, 2022