Poetry in Motion

Los Angeles

Red Rooster, Yellow Sky

Amy Uyematsu

The grandmother who never spoke
brought me this card from Japan
drawn in a child's hand:
just rooster, sun, and sky.
Under a red sun
the rooster's red body
splits in two uneven parts,
each sturdy black foot
holding its own weight.
It was the year of the rooster
when I was still ten,
learning to stand myself upright—
my own sky rising yellow
like new, uncut lemons.

"Red Rooster, Yellow Sky" from 30 Miles from J-Town by Amy Uyematsu. Copyright © 1992. Reprinted with the permission of the author and Story Line Press.