HOLLY DAY // Two Poems
some babies just know that they’re born on thin ice
of rape and desertion, as if they know how deep
a hole they have to climb out of just
stay. some babies just know
that they’re born on thin ice, that they’re always
a hair’s breadth from being
abandoned, that they live in
the shadows of state care, foster homes, or
a paper bag dumped by the side of the road.
some babies just know.
Suddenly, I know what is in the package. It’s
another piece of child, sent to drive me crazy. The package
is just the right size to hold either
a bunch of little bits
or one big piece, a torso, perhaps,
a well-cushioned head.
I gently pick the package up and put it
in the spare bedroom with the rest of the packages
the tiny finger-sized boxes
the still-sealed shoeboxes concealing bare, uncalloused feet
The rest of the mail sits waiting to be sorted through
I flip through pizza coupons, form invitations
to local beheadings, a flyer advertising the opening
of a new Baptist church in my neighborhood.
At the very bottom of the stack is a large manila envelope,
thick with paperwork. I open it, curiously, not
recognizing the handwriting, and watch in confusion
as photographs of people I don’t know
pour out onto the floor.
Holly Day is a housewife and mother of two living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, who teaches needlepoint classes for the Minneapolis school district and writing classes at The Loft Literary Center. Her poetry has recently appeared in Hawai’i Pacific Review, Slant, and The Tampa Review, and she is the 2011 recipient of the Sam Ragan Poetry Prize from Barton College. Her most recent published books are "Walking Twin Cities" and "Notenlesen für Dummies Das Pocketbuch."