By Holly Day
We pick it out together, giggle uncontrollably over the pastel lining
the superfluous pillows sewn to the interior, deny
the shadow of cancer and fear that hides in the shadows
in the dark space between our palms when I take your hand.
I call you “Mom” more often now, forgo introducing you by first name
even to strangers. These last days, all I want
is for you to be my mother.
This seems a good enough place to bury your secrets
cushioned in unrealized dreams
of running away. This will be a place
where shouted orders aren’t expected to complete you
where cracked pots and conceptual pieces aren’t questioned on merit
where bluebirds come gift-wrapped
and sing only of self-preservation.
Wife in Denial
I hear the screams from the bedroom
imagine her staring back at me with wide, blue eyes
but it doesn’t do any good.
I tell him to pick up after himself when he’s done
I’m not doing the laundry this time, either.
I hear the conversations coming from the room afterwards
and I know it’s just him, it’s him speaking in two separate voices
his and hers, and it is nothing I want to know about.
I walk above the corpses I know are in the yard lightly
careful with my garden spade, avoiding any fresh-turned dirt
sprinkle wildflower seeds over the suspicious berms instead.
Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center
in Minneapolis, Minnesota, since 2000. Her poetry has recently appeared in
Tampa Review, SLAB, and Gargoyle, and her published books include Walking
Twin Cities, Music Theory for Dummies, and Ugly Girl.