If I knew Braille, perhaps I could read
the graffiti of purple-mouthed limpets clinging
to old, sea-washed boulders
the secret Bibles of zebra mussels clinging to dry-docked boats
the last, profound gasps of snails and slugs dried out in clumps
on the sun-baked pavement in front of my house.
There may be language in the teetering piles of droppings
the rabbits have scattered throughout my yard
written in squirrel on the skin of half-nibbled tulip bulbs
lifted from the ground and carried into the trees
in the fresh pattern of teeth marks gnawed into the table leg
by the dog. I am missing too many important things
because I don’t know how to read.
The Last Place You’d Look
The repairman finally came, sucked the soul
out of my cable tv and left only
walnuts behind. I told him
I had already given my heart
to a pony-riding clown
and didn’t need anything from anyone
anymore, didn’t need to be made a part
of anyone else’s sideshow act.
His voice muffled by pillows
and panties, he told me
not all insects are dangerous,
and some even make our lives more
comfortable. However, he did not tell me
how to turn the television on
and ants still give me the willies.
This is the definition of want. You can only go so far in a
boat. Sooner or later, we all have to sleep. Most
people are not as smart as they look.
These are painful rainbows to handle. I keep everything
in my pockets, except my money
which I don’t.
You wake me up to tell me
that the snow has come back
that the garden outside is completely
obscured in white. You say it much too loud
for this sort of news
for this early in the morning, almost joyful.
Half-asleep, the resentful part of me believes
perhaps you are responsible for the snow.
I drag myself out of bed and call the dog
who comes, joyful at the prospect of a morning walk.
I put on her leash and we step outside
into a world buried in white snow
the tips of new tulips, the green sprays of crocusalready shriveling and darkening in the cold.
Short bio: Holly Day was born in Hereford, Texas, “The Town Without a Toothache.” She and her family currently live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she teaches writing classes at the Loft Literary Center. Her published books include the nonfiction books Music Theory for Dummies, Music Composition for Dummies, and Guitar All-in-One for Dummies, and the poetry books “Late-Night Reading for Hardworking Construction Men” (The Moon Publishing) and “The Smell of Snow” (ELJ Publications).