The World Grows

By  |  November 20, 2018
Image by CPG Grey from Wikimedia Commons Image by CPG Grey from Wikimedia Commons

Once, the world no bigger 
than railroad-divided Youngsville. 

Once, we made it to South Carolina; 
all of us alive for the family reunion; 

once, two miles from the city limits 
my uncle pulled out of the car 
to have his coin-filled pockets searched. 

Once, to see the ocean, 
we took the back way out of town, 

we lived in a circled path 
and made do behind a kerosene’s heat. 
Once, my mother the shape of God 

pointing to the moon in a screen door. 
Around a card table with her brothers and sister 
in gin they trusted the squash would sprout a way. 

Once, I trusted a hand pointing north; 
once, I called for a wolf 
and a man walked out of the night. 

I walked Youngsville and marked myself down on a map 
I was making. 

Once, for my birthday, 
my family gathered near the rusted cars in our backyard 
and my happiness the color of balloons. 


Tyree Daye reads “The World Grows”

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Tyree Daye's work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, the New York Times, and Nashville Review, and his debut book, River Hymns, was awarded the 2017 APR/Honickman First Book Prize. He is an assistant professor of English at St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh. He is from Youngsville, North Carolina.