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Every day I wondered if my indigo might fade
in fifty years, if someone would match my blue
from leaves I bundled and removed from water
fermented and beaten with lime. Every day I ripened
with that hard paste before all was ready for dyeing.

Will anyone wonder how I stayed true to the only life
I knew for years in a tired sun, my bones heavy as stone?
I had no choice, only hope for my children to love me
for making a shade of blue to keep them safe in a sparse home,
a royal hue for the rich who stayed blind to my stained hands.

By Rüdiger Rückmann
Written on 18 April 2017