'Talking until I'm blue in the face' by Brenda Cook

‘Talking until I’m blue in the face’

is a self-portrait

of a time when I was trying so hard

to make someone else see

my point of view

that I turned blue.

Blue is the colour

you become when you go around in circles

not getting anywhere.

Blue is the colour

you turn when you are not listened to,

as if you have died a small death.

When I think of people in pictures

It captures a moment in time.

There is a tiny earthquake

that trembles through me,

a fear that I know

I know how people get stuck.

At school you graduate

From one year to another.

In the army, or the navy

or the airforce

you get promoted.

Some institutions look after you

Give you the chance to become

whoever you imagine you could be.

Other institutions

want to keep you to themselves

so they can control you.

The day I was blue in the face

I almost lost myself,

But I didn’t let go

of what I believed in

and at last I was heard

and a change occurred.

I could stop being blue

because I wasn’t being tied up in knots


I wasn’t being trained

not to think for myself

The colour came back into my cheeks.

The colour was freedom.

The colour was me.