Our theme for the month of February is “color.”

Yellow is what my brother used to call his hair
In kindergarten—before he knew the world blonde.

Yellow like our yellow lab, Chipper,
(May he rest in peace)
The truest embodiment of happiness. 

My grandfather once tried to feed Chipper some Mountain Dew,
He poured the bright yellow beverage into his water dish.
He thought it was hilarious.

My grandfather used to always sing that one song,
“She had an itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny yellow polka dot bikini.”
My brother and I thought that was hilarious. 

Yellow is the color of your third chakra, the solar plexus,
The Manipura, the lustrous gem.
Motivation, Purpose, Confidence.

For example: the colors of the University of Michigan are maize and blue.
Maize —not yellow. There’s a purpose for that.
Similarly, we are currently considering trading in our taxicabs for corn.
Would that be so hard?

But the truth is I’ll follow you like the yellow brick road.
You gave me yellow roses and a yellow gold wedding ring.
And tumeric rice on weeknights.
(It stains the Tupperware but it’s delicious.)

You cooked it for my mother once,
in her yellow kitchen. (The place I’ll miss the most.)
And she made the green beans.
With lemon and slivered almonds.
“And open another Pinot Grigio, please.”
(Not the Chardonnay, it’s too buttery.)

After dinner, neon yellow soap scrapes the remnants off the pans.
Dad always does the dishes.

Meanwhile, Mom just wants a boy with yellow hair
to come down for dinner sometimes.
Would that be so hard? 

But yellow also means traffic lights and tape.
It means waiting. It means caution. It means boundaries.
There’s a yellow flag on the play. Everyone stop what you’re doing!
It means slow down.
Because everything is moving at the speed of light.

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    This is gorgeous. I never quite understand how I can feel so nostalgic about someone else’s life, but it happens again and again when I read your poetry.

    Reply
  2. Kyric Koning

    Yellow, I fell, is oft an ill-sought and thought color. No one pays it much heed–but you have picked it out and made it beautiful. Not for the color, but what it colors.

    Reply

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