49. Today I am yellow.  It is fall and the sky and I are in drought.  The leaves are a dull yellow, mottled, turn in on themselves and drop.  A yellow like that.  A yellow like the sun in January as the snow moves in.

0. The yellow place that is the fragile boundary between fact and truth.  Chased around a corner where it disappears.

34.  Once when I had to be treated for latent tuberculosis, I actually turned a little yellow.  The isoniazid nearly destroyed my liver.  It recovered, but remains offended by any antibiotic. My body doesn’t want any help.

5. My mother often needed a break from me after my siblings were born ten months apart.  I was around five when my father would take me to work on the new house.  I watched as he painted our big bedroom primary yellow.  At noon we went to buy a sub from the shop near the hardware store and I got a slice one red meatball wide.  When we moved in the babies had one end of the room and I had the other.  My favorite part of the room was that it had a window that led out to the garage roof.  Later, my sister and brother would lock me out there.  I also went to work with my father, who picked up loads of sugar from the docks and delivered it to the Borden factory where the women gave me big bags of chocolate chips.  This was not yellow.

63. I don’t think my ex-husband will know to thin the daylilies so they don’t spread too far, leap over the garden border.

30. All my pills for everything that is wrong with me are a shade of yellow.

11. My favorite tree is the silver birch, which Frost made metaphorically famous for their ability to bend under snow.  I love their glowing yellow leaves, their ragged edges, their ability to hold on to the very end of autumn before they rain down like hot stars to the rocky beach below.  That sort of yellow.


RITA ROUVALIS CHAPMAN’s poetry has appeared most recently in Red Earth Review, Rat’s Ass Review, and Bellingham Review. She is a student in the MFA program at the University of Missouri - St. Louis, and teaches high school English.