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May Day

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They go, the early flags, the gory maples—
so too the daffodils & Lenten roses.
Other petals swirl & nights warm.
 
Buds thicken and cast shadows:
in a thunderstorm
I almost forget the ice that was.
 
Narcissi suckle watery paths;
meadows heap up emerald masses.
How green & I want to delight
 
except this undertow—it pulls so fast
passing before I recognize it—
like souls in Dante who can’t see the present,
 
white lilacs curdle in pre-summer heat.
The parade I barely noticed was beginning
is already halfway down the street.

Tess Taylor, "May Day" from Work and Days. Copyright © 2016 by Tess Taylor. Reprinted by permission of Red Hen Press.
Source: Work and Days (Red Hen Press, 2016)
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May Day

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