If You Want the Rainbow – a poem by Amy Baskin

If You Want the Rainbow
—inspired by Dolly Parton’s infinitely wise words

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow
you gotta put up with the rain.”
But storms can hit harder than any blow.

Just when you need relief, the skies will flow
and pummel you with tears and aches and pain.
The way I see it, if you want the rainbow,

kiss your hurts and hug them close. Above all, take it slow.
And breathe! Losing your shit cannot be called “a gain;”
your storms can hit harder than any blow!

Get wet. Jump in puddles toe-to-toe.
Take a stroll, hand-in-hand with a friend. This is sane.
The way I see it, if you want the rainbow,

thank the rain! It saturates you ‘til you know
you cannot get any wetter. Head inside. Get dry again
once storms have hit harder than any blow.

Towel off. Drink tea. Cuddle. Then work hard! And throw
aside the fears that you can’t take it. Let those wane.
The way I see it, if you want the rainbow,
know storms hit hard. They’re part of getting clean and letting go.

Amy Baskin‘s work is currently featured in Bear Review, River Heron Review, and is forthcoming in Pirene’s Fountain. She is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, an Oregon Literary Arts Fellow, and an Oregon Poetry Association prize winner. When she’s not writing, she matches international students at Lewis & Clark College with local residents to help them feel welcome and at home during their time in Oregon.

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