Holly Day

Spare Set

I might never have realized they were gone if
The garden frogs hadn’t been so adamant about it. “Look under the rock!”
They said, and I did, and found nothing. But they kept saying it
And soon I realized that it was the nothing
That they were referring to.
So I had to find a different way to get into my house.
Without my keys, the only alternative was to
Force open a window and get in that way. But gentle pushing
Didn’t seem to do anything, so I had to use one of the stone frogs
To break the glass and clamber in through the hole.
Unfortunately, I cut myself up so badly doing so
That I ended up passing out on the bathroom floor
Realized as I did so that it wasn’t my house at all
Which was probably why there were no keys under the fake rock
Which also explained why the fake rock felt so heavy and real.
Outside, I could hear the stone garden frogs
Croaking and laughing loudly amongst themselves
Words like “wasn’t” and “that” and “awesome” drifted in
Through the window, and boy, those damned frogs
They really got me this time.

The Wooden Man

a man made of wood would be a much more practical being
than a man made of flesh, a man with knotted arms
coarse flesh, rough bark, rooted to the ground
unable to leave. I imagine the women
of those long ago forests carrying
new babies in their arms, determined to forget
who the single sperm on that single night
came from, I see those women

holding their babies up to the best trees
the old, tall ones with birds in their crowns
squirrels in their crooks, rabbits under their roots
saying, “This is your father,” spinning elaborate
but believable tales of strong, beautiful, dependable dryads
visiting sleeping children during the night, planting
dew-damp and sap-scented kisses on tow-framed foreheads
whispering the secrets of the forest in their tiny
sleeping ears, and how the tree outside your door

is the thing that makes this home.

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 Hawai’i Pacific Review, The Oxford American, and Slipstream.

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