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The Lilac Thief
by
Young Dawkins


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She is aghast
as I explain that once each year,
just about now,
I drive slowly through the neighborhoods casing likely targets,
and when I find one,
I park just across the street and walk over
with a great inner calm.
I use the very sharpest snips possible,
and cut one, two, but never more than three
clumps of perfectly bloomed purple lilacs,
then move on until the lead-heavy scent
inside the car makes me almost dopey.
I bring them home and arrange them in vases,
place them where they will find afternoon light.
But, she cries, that is just wrong!
Lilacs belong to all the people.

Yes
, I say. Yes.
And I am one of the people.


From The Lilac Thief (Sargent Press, 2009).
Used with the author’s permission.

 

 

 

 

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Young Dawkins is Vice-Principal for Development at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. A renowned performance poet (he won the 2011 Scottish National Slam Poetry competition and is vying for the World Championship in Paris next month), his first print collection of poetry was published in 2009. A key figure in the New Hampshire beat poetry revival movement before leaving that area in 2005, Young is enjoying his first foray into fatherhood and recently celebrated his son's second birthday. Learn more about him here.

 

 


New comments are closed for now.
Joe Sottile:
Lovely poem! Each summer Rochester NY has the Lilac Festival which thousands of people attend.
Posted 05/13/2011 02:09 PM
transitions:
Please pass the snips...love the poem! Judy
Posted 05/13/2011 11:39 AM
Julianne Carlile:
They must have rules about cutting flowers over there. Funny poem.
Posted 05/13/2011 05:03 AM


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