Published on Academy of American Poets (

To: All Poets From: Northeastern North Carolina

It’s just getting hot,
    dogwoods showering our shoulders with flowers.

I saw dead baby birds on a trail
   so I know new life has arrived

lost in the survival of pine and ash. I’ll say it plainly—
we need you down here.

Yesterday, my uncle put a nail through his thumb
working for the same white man he’s worked for since sixth grade.

Last night his blood fell on the bathroom floor and made a star
he couldn’t follow.

He needs to hear your poems.


Copyright © 2020 Tyree Daye. From Cardinal (Copper Canyon Press, 2020). Used with permission of the author and Copper Canyon Press (


Tyree Daye

Tyree Daye is the author of Cardinal (Copper Canyon Press, 2020).

Date Published: 2020-10-06

Source URL: