Deliberate

By Amy Uyematsu b. 1947 Amy Uyematsu
So by sixteen we move in packs
learn to strut and slide
in deliberate lowdown rhythm
talk in a syn/co/pa/ted beat
because we want so bad
to be cool, never to be mistaken
for white, even when we leave
these rowdier L.A. streets—
remember how we paint our eyes
like gangsters
flash our legs in nylons
sassy black high heels
or two inch zippered boots
stack them by the door at night
next to Daddy’s muddy gardening shoes.

Amy Uyematsu, "Deliberate" from Nights of Fire, Nights of Rain, published by Story Line Press.  Copyright © 1997 by Amy Uyematsu.  Reprinted with the permission of the author.

Source: Nights of Fire Nights of Rain (Story Line Press, 1997)

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Poet Amy Uyematsu b. 1947

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Subjects Living, Social Commentaries, Race & Ethnicity, Youth

 Amy  Uyematsu

Biography

Poet Amy Uyematsu was raised in southern California by parents who had been interned in American camps during World War II. She earned her undergraduate degree in mathematics at the University of California at Los Angeles.
 
Uyematsu’s poems consider the intersection of politics, mathematics, spirituality, and the natural world. She is the author of several poetry collections, including Stone Bow Prayer (2005), Nights of Fire, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Social Commentaries, Race & Ethnicity, Youth

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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