Purple she said,
and purple she meant,
and purple they were,
I knew a woman once, a refugee,
who could neither hear
nor speak the difference
between the words paw paw,
Pope Paul and purple.
That’s another story.
This purple of the flowers, though,
was a victory of will over assaulted matter,
almost every word mashed to incoherence.
it leapt from her, it sang.
She wrested it from herself, sound by sound,
the first and the second lip-smacking P,
the soft burr of the middle,
and the tongue coaxing the L against the teeth,
the vestigial desire to connect
melding sound and sense.
And the word soared in the air,
resilient and regal.
I heard it, I received it,
as she had received the flowers I chose
for her favourite colour,
and we beamed together,
sitting in the ancient,
expansive ruins of her mind,
at the endurance of purple.