Holly Day

The Future Critics and Judges

Someday, archeologists will uncover the door of our home, make wild guesses

about the exact placement of the house number, and how

to read the characters that make up our address, write papers based upon theories

impulsively grasped at our lack of a doorbell, deduce our financial state

at our time of death by the words scrawled across the tacky dimestore doormat.

 

Someday, the clay ashtray I keep at the table next to my bed will become

a relic in a well-guarded museum, complete with a plaque attempting to decipher

the chicken-scrawl imprints made by kindergarten hands, the paint blob

on the inside that only I know is supposed to be a heart. Children like my own

will stare, bored, into the glass case, led by some museum docent, loudly announce

to each other that people from the past were stupid, that they

could make a pot as good as that one

in an afternoon.

 

Someday, future hands will stroke and catalog our furniture

wonderingly, mutter incessantly, much as we as we do now, at the way

we must have contorted our bodies to fit comfortably on chairs

too short for you and too tall for me, and on the way

no one piece matches another.

 

© Holly Day

 

 

            Soft Tissue

 

The mummy comes to my door, tells me

he’s moved in down the street, only now realized

we were neighbors, we should go out for coffee

sometime, we should catch up. Startled, not expecting

this shambling wreck of my past to just show up

on my doorstep as though nothing had ever

happened between us, I just nod my head

say that would be nice.

 

I shut the door and my daughter asks

who I was talking to, asks why

I look so funny, so strange. I say nothing

can’t find the words to explain that sometimes

the dead can crawl their way out through layers of dirt

breathe life back into their rotting limbs and

stop by for a visit, without any sort of warning,

no polite warning at all. I struggle

 

for an explanation, finally tell her

that it’s really none of her business, that even mommies

have things in their past

that nice little girls shouldn’t know about.

 

 

© Holly Day

 

            The First Bite Is Obscured

 

all I can remember

first bite of food after a 30-hour fast

peach, a sandwich, I think, but I don’t remember

or sweet mustard and glazed ham

store-bought white bread

is that peach.

or just peanut butter and jelly on soft

whether it was salty pastrami on black rye

filling my throat. I know I ate more than that

a ripe peach, flesh firm, dripping sweet nectar.


© Holly Day