Wendy Barker: “The Pink Moon Heralds”




Blossoming season,
cherry blooms, wild phlox,
primroses dazzling
our yard, an ocean
of pink rippling all
the way to the street.
A frilly color,
often found on young
girls’ fancy dresses,
pink also carries
bad vibes. A pink slip,
or an epithet
hurled at anyone
suspected of views
too leftist: “pinko
commie”—not quite “red,”
but close. Nothing like
feeling “in the pink.”
The phrases that slip
from our tongues (always
pink whatever our
skin’s shade). Strange not one
of our ten thousand
books in this house have
pink covers, when all
the tongues forming those
words, no matter what
land, seas, the writer
had crossed, would have been
some tinged shade of pink.
All the blooms birthing
from our supple tongues.


Wendy Barker‘s seventh collection of poems, Gloss, was published in 2020 by Saint Julian Press, and her sixth full-length collection, One Blackbird at a Time, from BkMk Press won the John Ciardi Prize. She has also published five chapbooks, and her poems have appeared in numerous journals or anthologies, including Best American Poetry 2013. Barker teaches at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

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