What is White?

What is White? by Mary O’Neil

White is a Dove
And lily of the valley
And a puddle of milk
Spilled in an alley—
A ship’s sail
A kite’s tail
A wedding veil
Hailstones and
Halibut bones
And some people’s
Telephones.
The hottest and most blinding light
Is white.
And breath is white
When you blow it out on a frosty night.
White is the shining absence of all color
Then absence is white
Out of touch
Out of sight.

White is marshmallow
And vanilla ice cream
And the part you can’t remember
In a dream.
White is the sound
Of a light foot walking
White is a pair of
Whispers talking.
White is the beautiful
Broken lace
Of snowflakes falling
On your face.
You can smell white
In a country room
Toward the end of May
In the cherry bloom.

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What is White?

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