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
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