Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hot Medicinal Pink

At the YMCA, grunting
in between exercises called
forties and cat-and-camel,
after left bridge – right bridge
and ball toss and squats, and
the stretching and contortions
designed to improve flexibility
and determine if I have any
muscles left to tear, I see it
sitting rather forlorn and alone
in a corner, a pink chair,
the shade of Pepto-Bismol
that my parents believed
cured all stomach ailments,
a medicinal hot pink, my mind
traveling from chair to medicine
to that stomach ache when I
was five which wasn’t as bad
as the scarlet fever when I
was three or the croup when I
was six and my father fixed me
hot tea and homemade waffles
and I wonder what it is about
pink that always reminds me
of illness.

This poem is submitted to dVerse Poets for Open Link Night. The links will be live at 2 p.m. Central time.

Without my intending it, it also became another in the series of poems about growing up in the South, suggested by my friend Nancy Rosback.


SimplyDarlene said...

You did that subtle, yet amazing, thing with this poem by making it the reader's experience. (I wanna know how to do that -- without swallowing a drop of pepto).

And of course it begs to know what pink reminds me of... bubble gum Chapstick, those giant tubes from the 1980's. I ate one once.


Maureen said...

Scarlet fever AND croup?!

I like that it was your father who fixed you tea and waffles.

Martha Jane Orlando said...

So enjoyed this poem, Glynn. Man, you sure had a bout with those dreaded childhood illnesses; glad you lived to tell about it. :)

S. Etole said...

That famous bottle of pink lived in our house as well.

You bring the experience alive.

Anonymous said...

yes..it did become a southern poem :-) yea!
oooh, now just think if all your poems ended up southern...that would be so ... cool.

Anonymous said...

wonderfully written, pulling the reader completely into the experience... & yes, that Pepto-Bismol shade of pink (really, I'm lost for words though, just thinking wow! to the whole thing)

Brian Miller said...

ha. it always makes me think of pepto as well....my dad could not swallow it either...he would get it in his mouth and throw up...could not stand the taste...

Anonymous said...

Yes! And the flavor of certain types of cherry.

But maybe it's the exercise bothering you. (Speaking of which... I should go... to.. the...gy.....m.)

Very sweet poem. k.

Kristina said...

Good one! Well told.

Beachanny said...

A very clever poem that tapped into a memory bank for all. I think it might have turned me against pink too...but my grandchildren returned lighter pink to my liking.