The letters keep showing up, slipped in through the mail slot
unraveling the resin-soaked bandages keeping my past
immobile and unable to infringe on too much of my day.
The people attached to those words of condolence
are too far away for me to picture them, every new piece of paper says
someone feels sorry for me. The envelopes continue, determined
to excavate my pain with each new handwritten slip of paper
unfurling like a flame from the heart of a two-dimensional beast
each new bouquet of baby’s breath and pink roses, pink
“Because we know you lost a baby!” and we’re sorry
the tiny pink cheeks that were already dry beneath my fingertips
when they put her in my arms, those tiny hands curled perpetually
into fists, the fingernails barely formed
so tiny compared to every other baby I ever held before
my hopes and dreams and longings already petrifying
on a slab on a cold, stone room in the back of my head.
Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minnesota since 2000. Her published books include Music Theory for Dummies, Music Composition for Dummies, Guitar All-in-One for Dummies, Piano All-in-One for Dummies, Walking Twin Cities, Insiderís Guide to the Twin Cities, Nordeast Minneapolis: A History, and The Book Of, while her poetry has recently appeared in New Ohio Review, SLAB, and Gargoyle. Her newest poetry book, Ugly Girl, just came out from Shoe Music Press.