Red is Dead

In April of 2020, while we were in the thick of Covid-19 and lockdown, I was involved in a traffic incident that caused my wrist to break. I had to learn to do things differently, figure how to deal with the pain and the panic that came with getting back on the road. But one thing that has lasted the longest, is my displeasure for the color red. The incident involved a red vehicle running a red light – and red just hasn’t meant the same thing since.

PTSD is nothing to be ashamed of but also nothing to be ignored. Writing about how I feel is a form of therapy for me, a way to get the emotions that would normally stay all locked up onto the page and out into the world.

Red is dead.

Once roses and rubies

and Barefoot wines –

Now fire trucks and unapologetic stop signs.

Red is dead.

Once cows in barns

and apples in trees – 

Now blood in my mouth and on my hands and knees.

Red is dead.

Cardinals, koi, ballerina’s lipstick – 

Valentine’s, Christmas, cherry candle wick –

Stop lights and sirens have only caused strife.

Maybe one day, red will come back to life.

Poem by Alyssa Barr


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