That day I went tiptoeing, balancing gingerly
On the pavement's slick treachery,
Picking my way carefully
Through squalid ice and slush
Under a lead gray sky
That had withheld the sun
For cumulative dreary days,
Maneuvering to skirt little pools
Formed in reluctance by
An untimely thaw sloshing
Its vapid way through dank city streets.
'Twas then that I espied it — a lowly puddle
Where a rainbow had spilled its pretty colors,
Staining the water with iridescent gleams,
Making gay fiesta patterns float
And intermingle in bright profusion
Of impressionistic watercolor daubings.
There were more gay pools ahead,
And I followed the rainbow path onto the parking lot,
My spirit growing blithe as a zephyr and —
What? Fie! I will not thus be mocked!
Gasoline leaks and drippings, indeed!
I tell you, I walked through rainbows,
And oft have I done so!
For many times in life have I walked
Through muck and slush down ugly streets
And saw where rainbows had gone before me
And spilled their glory in stagnant pools
For those whose hearts discern rainbows.
No! Not by any means shall you dissuade me!
I tell you, I have walked through rainbows!
And ever will I search for lovely
Rainbow spills of red and gold and blue,
And I will follow them until I find
The splendor of the great bow that precedes me,
Arching in the celestial grandeur at the end of my road.
//Ramona Robbins Porter Newton was a French and Spanish teacher in the Detroit school system and received her bachelor's degree from Michigan State University in Lansing, her birthplace, and a master's degree in Educational Psychology. Much of her poetry was inspired by a course in Francophone literature. She passed away August 4, 2001 at the age of 82.
"Rainbow Spills" was written in 1981, originally published in Soliloquy and Other Poems by Ramona Robbins Porter Newton, and re-printed with permission of the late poet's son.