Annette Wong

       after Robert Hass’s "The Problem of Describing Color"

If I said — remembering in winter,

the Japanese maple’s shock of yellow.

If I said — sunflowers, lion’s manes

in a vase, in a flaxen room.

Or daffodils and raincoats

in Seattle, in June.

If I said — primrose,

pitch of golden orioles,

wood thrush,

low harvest moon.

Or amber tree resin,

puss weeping wound.

If I said bile, jaundice,

eyes sallow, too soon.

Yellow, I’d say.

Caution, yellow.



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