Two Poems By Holly Day

G-d is Spying on Mankind

 

No matter how well-dressed you are, you will not know the contents of a book

by balancing it on your head. Nor will trepanning your skull

allow the wind to carry the knowledge of scattered pages and burning Bibles

into any part of your brain that will recognize the ash as words.

 

In the shadows of derelict trains, four old men sit around a table in pews

rescued from abandoned churches. They, too, have tried

balancing books on their heads for the delight of passersby, tried

learning open-heart surgery and dentistry from medical encyclopedias

bought at library close-out sales, but perfection eludes

 

even them and their attempts. The suits you wear have to be new.

God can tell if you bought them at a thrift store, or pulled them

from the fresh bodies of a recently-dead suicide victim or career alcoholic.

If there’s anything I’ve learned about Heaven,

you have to bathe an awful lot to get in.

 

Open Plains Cut By Highways

 

Caterpillars and bridges

rise and fall like waves, there is

always another

 

road that starts at the point that

the bottom step ends, where

your tiny bare feet stumble on

 

the gravel path, determined

to run away from me even

now. The wind lifts the hem

 

of my cotton dress, hold

it down at the edge here

and here, with one tiny

 

hand that will someday too near turn

into an adult hand,

in these moments when tomorrow

 

and yesterday and nothing

all matter equally,

so long as there are bridges

 

and roads that run forever.

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, Ugly Girl, and The Yellow Dot of a Daisy. She has been a featured presenter at Write On, Door County (WI), North Coast Redwoods Writers’ Conference (CA), and the Spirit Lake Poetry Series (MN). Her newest poetry collections, A Perfect Day for Semaphore (Finishing Line Press) and I’m in a Place Where Reason Went Missing (Main Street Rag Publishing Co.) will be out late 2018.