Red is the Color of Pride


He gave me that look, the one 

Half pity half smirk,

Like sympathy, cringing and

Glee all at once.

I recognized that look, maybe

Gave it to someone sometime 

Myself, but tonight I was the

Target of derision; “Just kidding,”

He said of course, after insinuating

I was not acting my age or regressing

To some teenage former life. He 

Mostly likes me, I think, not one to

Put me down, but there it was.

And I was struck with a hint of

shame, or something close to it, in

My smudged jeans and t-shirt, the

Swept back unkempt hair, and

Stained sneakers, and this place, I

Know I need to let go of, just take

That leap, brave the chance of more.

Uncertainty:  this sudden pride, I lost 

Not long ago and never missed til now, 

not even noticing its disappearance, 

Undeserving and unwarranted, so now 

 After tonight’s blush–pride–have

I fallen backward or forward?