- Tiger Lilies
They blew in the wind softly, this way, that way. They were not disappointed when they saw the scissors, rather they braced themselves sweetly and shone with willing- ness. They were on tall and tender poles, with wheels of leaves. They were soft as the ears of kittens. They felt warm in recognition of the summer day. A dozen was plenty. I held them in my arms. They were silent the way the deepest water is silent. If they wondered where they were going they didn't show it, as they sprinkled freely over my shirt and my hands their precious gold dust.
Mary Oliver holds the Catherine Osgood Foster Chair for Distinguished Teaching at Bennington College. She is the author of ten books of poetry, and is the recepient of the National Book Award, the Christopher Award, the L. L. Winship/PEN New England Award, and the Pulitzer Prize.