Mar/Apr 2021 • Vol. XLIII No. 2 Nature’s Nature |

Lilies

Almost June yet the blooms are already done here among my grandfather & foremothers & my father planted too early —  we miss you brother. He will not see another May, whose colors fiery surround us & now him — will not know his grandson & namesake, ever since cruel April stole him. Father, never will you know how words blossom from my son this Memorial Day, visiting your stone —  hot, up, more, more, he sings —  The lilies we leave will tip over in wind near your name my son doesn’t yet know though it’s his own.

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Kevin Young is the author of ten books of poetry, most recently Blue Laws: Selected & Uncollected Poems, 1995–2015. His Book of Hours was a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Prize; his book The Grey Album won the PEN Open Award, the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism. This essay has been adapted from Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News, longlisted for the National Book Award.

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