A Yellow Leaf

By Alberto Ríos b. 1952 Alberto Rios
A yellow leaf in the branches
Of a shamel ash
In the front yard;
I see it, a yellow leaf
Among so many.
Nothing distinguishes it,
Nothing striking, striped, stripped,
Strident, nothing
More than its yellow
On this day,
Which is enough, which makes me
Think of it later in the day,
Remember it in conversation
With a friend,
Though I do not mention it—
A yellow leaf on a shamel ash
On a clear day
In an Arizona winter,
A January like so many.

Reprinted from The Smallest Muscle in the Human Body, Copper Canyon Press, 2002, by permission of the author. Copyright © 2002 by Alberto Rios, a writer and professor at Arizona State University.

Source: The Smallest Muscle in the Human Body (Copper Canyon Press, 2002)

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Poet Alberto Ríos b. 1952

POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

Subjects Nature

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Alberto  Ríos

Biography

Alberto Ríos has won acclaim as a writer who uses language in lyrical and unexpected ways in both his poems and short stories, which reflect his Chicano heritage and contain elements of magical realism. "Ríos's poetry is a kind of magical storytelling, and his stories are a kind of magical poetry," commented Jose David Saldivar in the Dictionary of Literary Biography. Ríos grew up in a Spanish-speaking family but was forced to . . .

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SUBJECT Nature

POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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