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” first appeared in The New York Times.