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Bleuet/Bluetiful/Blue

in Gun Violence/U.S. by
“The bleuet de France is the symbol of memory for, and solidarity
with, veterans, victims of war, widows, and orphans …”—Wikipedia

Reading my grandfather’s letters home, 1945,
I learn that he saw Madame Butterfly in Paris,

after the war, that there was enough of him left
to feel the rain and realize the lapse since he’d last

laughed. The same day, I read online about a new
color of blue going into a box of crayons. As if

there is a lapse in the tints of sad made available
to our children so that they might be able to draw

the world. Brighter than cobalt, robin’s egg,
cerulean and sky. Bluetiful. I think of the blue

morpho butterfly, it’s scopic wingspan, flinch-bright,
it’s underside camouflaged drab, but still nearing

extinct. Oh, America the bluetiful. Why not name the color
thoughts & prayers. A blue not allowed to rest, bright

as in blood before it stains. The cold rain on my grandfather’s
face. I used to wonder why the average German man did

nothing to stop such unspeakable horrors. I know now, what
little can be done. So, I will buy this new color for my son

and tell him all is not lost, see—we have given you a way to
fluent tragedy. In your hands, it might morph it into something

almost beautiful, but mostly blue.

 


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Megan Merchant lives in the tall pines of Prescott, AZ with her husband and two children. She is the author of three full-length poetry collections with Glass Lyre Press: Gravel Ghosts (2016), The Dark’s Humming (2015 Lyrebird Award Winner, 2017), Grief Flowers (2018), four chapbooks, and a children’s book, These Words I Shaped for You (Philomel Books). She was awarded the 2016-2017 COG Literary Award, judged by Juan Felipe Herrera, the 2018 Beullah Rose Poetry Prize, and most recently, second place in the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry. She is an Editor at The Comstock Review.