Our April 2013 Picks
What’s ‘On Our Radar’ this month
(page 5 of 5)
THE DAY LILIES
by Max Garland, Wisconsin’s new poet laureate
Whole bees dart into the lilies,
but the day is a blossom too.
The lilies are huge yellow hybrids,
mostly. The bees are drowning in luck.
I wonder if it even seems like work
bounding from anther to anther.
I wonder if there's a wake
of pollen in the air, a thin
gold script to the hive
I can't see? A low wind
navigates the leaves and slick stalks
of the lilies. Six petals apiece
flail outward, mouthlike and deep.
And either it's just me,
or there's something in the flowers,
the stamina shot forth
bright as flares, the yellow petals
ascending to pink, backbending
and rippling out paper thin,
almost maroon at the edges,
that looks like astonishment
scorched halfway to anger,
as if even the lilies can't believe,
given winter in the bulb, the weight
and burn of ice, the long
blind watery climb to light,
a day is all they get.
Photo courtesy of Max Garland.