Yellow

By 
Yoko's Dogs

Room would like to apologize to Yoko's Dogs for the formatting errors made in "Yellow" in issue 36.2

Yellow

I
her cardinals return
from the west
printed on napkins

wine smears
on top of lipstick smears

April in Montreal
even the detours
have detours

this gravel road
ends in a ditch

spring peepers—
the marsh grass slick
in moonlight

his yellow wheelbarrow
loaded with split alder

II
monkeys
juggle windfall pears
for the villagers

a scarecrow has a brain
only in Oz

storm-stayed
he mistakes his neighbour
for his wife

train uncoupling—
one half pulled north, the other east

crossing the prairie
one February
snowless

fields of stubble and silos
nothing like England

tourists chip fossils
from the cliff
then leave them on the beach

twenty-million-year-old razor clams
candle-lit

microwave vermicelli
with clam sauce—
Haiku brand!

mulberry festival?
I’ll wear my Bengali sari

it’s not her party
that Georgie girl
dancing in drag

fortunes rise and fall
while the Aegean remains Aegean

III
no need
for the steel-plated hull
of an ice-breaker

she slices cheddar
passes it on the knife

one man’s garbage—
a squirrel runs off with a baguette
in its teeth

a rain-soaked cedar
shaking the moon from its branches

chanterelles
fill his hat
with musty apricot

she rakes leaves into piles
he kicks them apart

a stolen kiss
comes back to me
as leaf smoke

old letters wrapped in ribbon
burn hotter in the fire

unfolding crisp tissue
from the pink box—
new ballet slippers

Nureyev
my feet are dogs

drawn there by sweetness
she picks the first
lilies-of-the-valley

ducks lift from the river
into the rainclouds

IV
she checks the rice
mops her face
with the skirt of her sundress

all the orchard ladders
are in the orchard

rishis tell us
surrender the fruits
of our labours

the bees don’t know
they’re in the jardin des refusés

mimosa
the Italian tenor
is homesick

each year
celebrating the yellow fever vaccine

Yoko’s Dogs consists of poets Jane Munro (Vancouver Island), Susan Gillis (Montreal), Jan Conn (Great Barrington, Massachusetts), and Mary di Michele (Montreal). Their first book, Whisk, is available from Pedlar Press. Visit their site at yokosdogs.com.

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