Holly Day

This Thing Has Set In, and These are Her Words

she says she wants me to drive her
far, far away, out past the tall gray concrete
city buildings, past the picturesque farms with shiny
silver grain silos and peaceful black-and-white cattle
munching on bright green grass, past the tumbled-down
beat-up mobile-home park guarded by junkyard dogs
and bearded men leaning on their long steel-barreled rifles
cowboy hats tipped forward just far enough that you can’t see
their eyes, past the foothills of the cloud-colored mountains
and up and up and up because
somewhere in that collection of snow-capped peaks is
a valley filled with curly ferns and thorn-tipped rosebushes
and climbing twining vines, a tiny green place that she’s only
seen in dreams but she knows it’s there and when
we get there I am to let her out of the car and then
go straight back home, I am to leave her to spend
the few shorts days or hours or she has left sitting on the banks
of the empty pond we will find there, watching her reflection fade
to an emaciated skeleton in a torn red dress.

Holly Day is a housewife and mother of two living in Minneapolis, Minnesota who teaches needlepoint classes in the Minneapolis school district. Her poetry has recently appeared in The Worcester Review, Broken Pencil, and Slipstream, and she is the recipient of the 2011 Sam Ragan Poetry Prize from BartonCollege. Her most recent published book is Notenlesen für Dummies Das Pocketbuch, while her novel, The Trouble With Clare, is due out from Hydra Publications in 2013.

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