I was the color of strength and honor
the knight’s raised shield, protecting a child.
I was the one who brought luck and prosperity
the calligraphed banner pasted beside a door on New Year’s Eve.
I was the one others bowed down to
the flowing, scarlet cape of a highly-ranked Spartan.
But that was once upon a time.
I am the color of fear and panic
the roaring, crackling wildfire, ravaging abandoned homes.
I am the one who silently screams danger
the wailing ambulance siren that cries for a lost life.
I am the one that makes others back away
the growing pool of crimson staining white tiles.
I didn’t choose my identity.
Has anyone ever thought
maybe I’m just misunderstood?