Holly Day – Five Poems

Struggling For

I keep coming from her husband
wrapped in stories bound in rain
ramblings of passion I don’t believe
every time.

in the dreams where he’s married to me
there is a cat on the bed with us
we spend the afternoons
in each other’s arms
There is no one else.

How It Ends

my hands wrap
around the room, tie us together
with open palms filled with sharp teeth
and words that keep you here.

outside is nothing but streetlights and hunger
sleazy bars and one-night stands
I have made myself so heavy here
you won’t be able to make me leave.

Out of Reach

the hand comes down
and pushes me down
and reminds me
that the wings that keep
trying to break through my skin
are not
to be trusted, that wings
are not for me. I let the hand

tear out

the feathers, the sinew
the brave new appendages
that would allow me to fly away
let the hand carefully bind
my broken skin
my bloodied back
in bandages that keep
new feathers from sprouting,
new wings from unfurling


Wednesday Night
I’m washing  my daughter’s hair and she tells me there’s a boy
She likes in school, he’s nine years old, he says he doesn’t like her
He told her best friend he doesn’t like her, she’s upset now and I
Don’t know if I should laugh or cry. I carefully

Rinse the shampoo out of her hair and resist the urge
To wrap my arms around her tiny, bony chest and hold her
Like I did when she was tiny, she wants me to give her some sort of
Womanly, adult advice and I am not ready for this.

The Chill of Adoration

A sailor lured to rocky shores
by love and sometimes loneliness
my ship has run your joyless embrace
run aground your cold neurotic flesh.

I stuff my ears against your song
eyes on a horizon away from gloom
heart heavy with jagged cliffs and whispered dreams
the ice in your voice when you speak of love.


Author’s Statement on Beauty

In some ways, I’ve forced myself into a Chairman Mao-type mindset of uniformity in dress and my expectations, but especially against that drabness, the world is a constant nonending explosion of beauty. Beauty just is, and it’s just everything. I have to say that 50 words is a lot of words to dedicate to something I take for granted. It’s like writing about breathing, and my opinions on it, and my personal breathing techniques, and if I vary this technique depending on which day of the week it is. Beauty.


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.