Remember the liquid food coloring?
It came in the red box, just four colors
redbluegreenyellow. Plink and plop, then mix
to make orange or teal or magenta.
It was impossible to make maroon,
only a brownish purple. Well, maybe
you could, but I never did.
Squared-off translucent plastic barrels topped
with towering cones like David the Gnome.
Twist the hat and squeeze but gently, gently.
Icing brighter green than your
apple Jolly Ranchers.
Once Mom let us add the dye to our milk.
I dripped a drop of every color twice
and stirred like mad. Brownish-purple-poo milk.
You placed a drop in the center and pulled
with a toothpick,
ever-widening, until the whole whorl
was blue and white and swirling.
Traced with love of this stupid gorgeous world.
Tonight I drank milk with a swirl of blue
just for you.