Homebound Haiku

Unstoppable spring -

            burst of green on bare branches

                        virus without bounds

Photo by Amy Uyematsu.

Which is scarier -

            bullets, viral pandemics,

                        a mob ruled by fear

No time to prepare -

            a self-absorbed president's

                        lies and excuses

Pandemic or not -

            the White House sees dollar signs

                        downplays human life

Still taking our walks

            we are struck by the orange

                        of this spring's poppies

Now that you stay home

            I am cooking up a storm -

                        our waistlines thicken

Is it only me -

            the clouds are more beautiful

                        a stranger's smile too

What deadly choices -

            not enough ventilators

                        who's more deserving?

Cherry Blossoms from the book “Wise Trees.” Photo courtesy of Amy Uyematsu.

The streets so quiet

            no children at the playground

                        but the bluest skies

How to stay healthy -

            Netflix, old books, new poems

                        sustain that deep breath

No more zumba class -

            so last night I shut my door

                        cha-cha'ed my heart out

A two-month lockdown?

            Grandpa confined at Gila

                        three relentless years

I used to teach math

            but it took a pandemic

                        for graphs to take hold

Exponential curves -

            once incomprehensible,

                        now daily fixtures

These are the hard facts -

            I'm older than 65

                        may not make the cut

Left in plastic bags

            on the streets of Ecuador -

                        unthinkable end

Find a way to smile

            look at something beautiful

                        all the while grieving

The cruelest spring -

            we watch the rising death toll,

                        cherry blossoms too

Japanese maple leaves. Photo by Amy Uyematsu.

Amy Uyematsu

18 haiku, excerpts

from 3/20/20-4/3/20

Poet’s Bio:

Amy Uyematsu is a Sansei poet and teacher from Los Angeles.  She currently teaches a writing workshop at the Far East Lounge in Little Tokyo.

Cover Photo:

Downtown LA Skyline from LA City Market, 11th & S. San Pedro St. 2018. Photo by Eddie Wong.

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