Five Poems

Holly Day

Trying to Get It Right

at my desk for hours, staring at page after page of hastily-scribbled poems,
these suitcases of loose paper, immolate my dreams
I haven’t the strength to let go.

notes, stories, books almost started and those almost finished
dissolve the part of me that was saved in those notes
hunched over my work, hours spent

drawing blue flowers, red flowers
black and white lines that should read more important than this.


eyes closed, to feel the rage from moments
fists unclench I know I’m

go through explain this
night after night

the painful
the constant questioning of my husband, his family

they all know the secrets of motherhood
they tell me, but don’t tell me anything I can use..

The Silence of the House Without Him

how can I tell my husband how much I love him, how much
every second we’re separated I think of him, think of the way he smells

of how often I think of the day we won’t be together, that I think about
how he’ll look when he wakes up to find me dead

how long do we have to be together before I can talk
about the things I wish would go on without me?

Around in My Head

dream in kaleidoscopic bits,
so hot, unfurls into something I know

what you want, man-child, wolf
almost burning–rip me up, make me know
clutched in its beak, I

love for fractions of seconds, wrap me in sick sweat, wolf
folded wolf

soft flesh beside me,
baby bird above me, wolf
touch the white skeleton man, push it up, I know

this creature, put it in my head, through my head,
take this burning I.


piece of scrap. metal flakes, a thin silver curl
an unconscious sculpture, an arm
moves overhead, a face, a flower, the magnet
still stained with blood, a steering column

sharp as a pin, a razor blade. wheels crush overhead
bending metal pinion around metal pinion
pulls the loose scrap up, a sharp edge
metal scrapes, drags against another metal
one second of realism. wheels
a door.


Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, since 2000. Her poetry has recently appeared in Big Muddy, The Cape Rock, New Ohio Review, and Gargoyle, and her published books include Walking Twin Cities, Music Theory for Dummies,and Ugly Girl. She has been a featured presenter at Write On, Door County (WI), Northwoods Writer’s Festival (CA), and the Spirit Lake Poetry Series (MN). Her newest poetry collections, A Perfect Day for Semaphore (Finishing Line Press) and The Yellow Dot of a Daisy (Alien Buddha Press) will be out late 2018.

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