Thursday, May 9, 2013

Holly Day - Three Poems

Words of Wisdom Concerning Water

You can never see your reflection in water pooled in the palms
Of your own hands. Try it. It’s impossible. I think
Your hands would have to be deep as oceans and wide as canyons
For your face to show up in the water you've cupped in your hands.

There are myths about people falling into the water after falling in love
With their own reflections, that the face they saw peering out at them from the
Rocky depths of fish-fouled water was so fucking beautiful that
They just had to try to kiss it, but no, I don’t believe it
No one could be that stupid, to not know what their own face looked like
to have not seen their reflection a thousand times before
in dirty run-off ponds, in a wooden bowl filled with still soup,
In a TV cop’s mirrored sunglasses. I just don’t believe it.

If it’s cold enough that the water pooled in your hands begins to freeze solid,
You should go inside. You’ll catch your death from that kind of cold.
If it evaporates from exposure to the wind and the heat
You should get more. You can’t have too much water
On a day like that.

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.

A Solution to Illiteracy

Pope Boniface VIII made it illegal to boil the bones
of any man who had died abroad, so during his criminal
papacy, all corpses had to be carried intact, or in bloody pieces
from whatever holy battlefield they met their end.

Anatomists of the day had to make their drawings of bones
of skeletons from the burnt or impaled corpses of criminals
interred above ground as a warning to their countrymen, pieces
ripped clean from their dangling corpses, of what sort of end

waits for dissenters, an end written in the lengths of exposed white bone
in the scattered pieces of criminals left at the crossroads leading out of town.

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 The Worcester Review, Broken Pencil, and Slipstream, and she is the recipient of the 2011 Sam Ragan Poetry Prize from Barton College. Her most recent published books are "Walking Twin Cities" and"Notenlesen für Dummies Das Pocketbuch."

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