Lydia

Purple cloth for the wealthy.
The dyes, extracted from molluscs
and blended from different species
to give the desired shade. 
 
An expensive commodity
which must have brought a tidy
income to those who dealt in it.
Lydia presumably was not short of a quid.
 
Perhaps she wore it herself,
the colour deep and rich; speaking
of comfort, royalty and power.
You could lose yourself in purple.
 
But when the apostle spoke of the king
dressed in the purple of mockery
and dying in poverty and shame,
Lydia knew.
 
Even the deepest hue fades,
leaving only memories and yearnings.
With joy she receives his colours, fast,
and with a rainbow of unexpected intensity.
 
© Ken Rookes

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