This is the red that you get serious over,
the one, when you see it,
you understand you have been waiting for,
the red that’s it,
the one you know you can make love to
the rest of your life.
Oh, sure, there may be times when orange reds look better,
those cheerleader shades bouncing around in the snow.
In softer lights you may get seduced by purple reds,
but something in their nature has other ideas,
wants to study with a guru or write a novel about pain.
We might as well be grown-up about all this.
There are times you will want the deeper reds,
the darker reds, the burgundies that lead you down to the waterfront
where nights never end.
Now and then, to your surprise,
you will be taken by the sweet obligers,
the pinks in tasteful blouses
who offer second helpings
of what was not enough to start.
But you’ll come back.
You will not be able to stay away.
817 is the red that you are wed to
because it always works.
This red will always delight you,
and always support you,
and always strut down the street like
— Stephen Beal
(Title refers to DMC embroidery floss, color 817.)