We are taught that white is a legitimate color,
Indeed, the holy marriage of all the earthly colors.
It seems to be a veritable symbol of everything,
And, therefore, empirically, a symbol of nothing.
Perhaps, early appearing to a suckling infant,
An irrefutable signature of life and nurturance
In the hospital, white, is a sure sign of care and cure-
Yet in the Japanese folkway, white means death,
Attend any Japanese funeral, or theatrical tragedy.
Writers see the white page as a new beginning, and
White bridal dresses signify purity and hope, while,
White picket fences demonstrate a family’s insularity,
And “white -wash,” generally, refers to unjust leniency.
It seems to be that only “white” shrouds cover homicides.
White snowfalls disguise the country scenery,
Covering up rocks and crevices, while, at the white season,
Grieving mourners are sadly reminded of recent losses.
White can, at whim, evoke scenic beauty or painful remorse, its
Evanescent power to evoke the eternal cornucopia of emotion.
[Leonard N. Shapiro, December 2018]