by Tyree Daye
I was the unbroken horse
of that town, slept standing up,
held on to the breeze like wildflowers.
I kept caterpillars in jars,
my mama let them go,
I figured they just disappeared.
There are moments you can hear God
say things soft-spoken, the sun
settling between thin pines.
Collected crickets in 2 liter bottles,
dropped them on a path far from the house
one or two at the bottom drowning
in the last swig of cola, the smell of mama’s
leaf pile faint and almost gone.
My mama would say
to kill a cricket
is a sin against the night.
“Tamed,” from RIVER HYMNS by Tyree Daye. Copyright © 2017 by Tyree Daye. Used by permission of American Poetry Review.