On a recent evening, the image of a piece of thick chalk popped into my mind, perhaps from an old photo of my daughter’s driveway chalk drawings, perhaps from an web ad for a sidewalk chalk contest.  I decided to see what I could make of it.  The Portuguese word “arco-iris” is one of my favorites, meaning “rainbow.”  For this poem, I imagined my daughter making long, curving sweeps with her pastel chalks, to make a rainbow.  I hope you enjoy it.


make me an arco-íris
a pretty one
take this piece of chalk
here: scrape a long arc
on rough-brushed concrete
a yellow arc
a nice, thick arc
the chalk on its side
take this piece of chalk
here: grind out the green
the blue, nice long injured
now here the pink, and red
put the purple above
or beneath, either way
just make me an arc
an arc

Roger Evans Baker is the author of Rabbit Lane: Memoir of a Country Road.  The non-fiction book is available in print and for Kindle at Amazon.  Rose Gluck Reviews recently reviewed Rabbit Lane in Words and Pictures.

7 thoughts on “Arco-Iris

  1. Carolin Messier

    Roger, I feel a grasping in this one, a wanting to hold onto a moment, or childhood, or peace, before the next blow life deals.
    “grind out the green
    the blue, nice long injured
    struck me in particular: grinding out the injured arcs. So human.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Roger Baker-Utah Post author

      So human, yes. Yet our being human embodies a striving for the best humanity can be.
      A grasping, yes. My poems are just that, a feeling after what cannot be clutched, but when found and set free are truly found.
      Thank you for your very thoughtful comment!

      Liked by 1 person


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