I’m still pondering colour and although I wrote this a while ago, it continues the theme……
To Soho we went
that damp Saturday, flat London drizzle misting our faces,
silver-gilding our hair.
You, small girl, fat hand in mine.
To the fabric shop, to the one that smells of incense and old wood
a smell of somewhere not England.
I pushed open the door.
Your chatter stopped and you loosened your hand,
drawn to the bolts of cloth, to the clashing colour dyed in Indian heat,
printed on ancient tables
by filigree henna-ed hands: deft, precise.
Could you see them? The women near the mango tree in the courtyard?
Pinning out cloth to dry in the hum of the sun,
murmuring their soft song language.
It came to Berwick Street tight-folded and wrapped in ordinary brown paper
then stacked bolt on bolt
and we smoothed our hands across its cockerel colours:
hot pink, scarlet, turmeric gold,
tracing the patterns with our fingers.