"Poetry" by Holly Day

My husband storms angrily into the kitchen and tells me

he’s had another nightmare that I was writing poetry

that I was sending off stacks and stacks of envelopes

spending excessive amounts on postage and mailing supplies

to pursue my worthless ambitions. “You seem to think

 

you’re going to live forever,” he tells me at the end of his story

“that you can keep taking these little steps towards nothing

while people out there are working themselves to death.

It seems like a smart person would have figured things out

given up by now.” But I’m still stuck on this nightmare he’s had

 

of me writing poetry—and not of me 

stabbing him in his sleep, or running away with another man,

or forgetting to feed or even completely abandoning our children

all things my subconscious has terrified me with

all the things that send me running to my desk in the middle of the night

to exorcise with poetry, this terrible thing I do. 

"When the Landlord Came" by Holly Day

they came and told us we had to leave and we

said fuck it, we’ll go. we packed up all the things

that made our lives bearable and buried the rest

in a hole in the forest, where bears could dig them up

maybe use them to build their own new society. 

 

my husband cut us each a spear, his from a broom, mine from a mop

we went deeper into the forest. I cut the heels off my shoes

used them as weights for our curtain-tie

fishing nets. It wasn’t long before we had food. Our children

 

learned to make rabbit snares from breadbox lids

how to drop unexpectedly from an overhanging 

tree branch, how to make fire. We experimented with different

types of shelters, finally settling in a tipi of old coats

wool suits draped over felled telephone poles and braced

with old kitchen appliances, make-up cases with broken hinges, busted clock radios

 

all the things that had made our lives easier

in a past we could no longer remember.