Green Hills Literary Lantern

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Orchard

 

I can feel the roots split from my skin

And begin to grow into the ground beneath me

Like a tomato plant. That’s what I am.

Just something that sends out roots wherever the ground

Will take me. They put her body

In the ground yesterday and I want to tell my husband

 

About how the ground welcomes me, even when I am alive

And how if they would only shake her

Loose from her coffin, let the earth in

She could put her own roots out; supine

Unmoving, she might even grow into a tree, because I

Can feel the flowers growing under my skin

But I can’t lay still enough for them to come out.

 

 

Yellow Spider, Little Green Fly

 

the ancient ancestor of this angling arthropod

could have crawled across the concrete

of a palace, or a prison

could have crept close to a condemned criminal’s crippled claw, curious of

the fumbling of fetid fingernails fighting feebly against

expected death.

 

the forefathers of this fly

maybe befuddled brilliant boys like Bacon

appearing as if assembled by angry alchemists

as maggots molting, multiplying, mounting air

fleeing free from fermenting flesh.

 

the ancient intimates of these insects

may have met millennia ago

suffered the same sort of scrutiny

I have them under now.

 

 

 

Compost

 

across the street, a man is making a

bed for his cat out of freshly-raked leaves

green, cut grass. the cat is lying on the

ground by the pile, unmoving, eyes open,

mouth slightly ajar. the man gently piles

lawn clippings into a pillow, birch leaves

for a comforter, more grass on top.  his

 

eyes look soft and misty, even from here.

down the street, a garbage truck lurches down

the street, turns the corner. the man brushes

his eyes clean with the back of his hand and

unfurls a man-sized black garbage bag and

stuffs leaves, grass, the dead cat into its mouth.

he knots the bag and leaves it with a kiss.

 

 

Holly Day is a journalism instructor living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with her husband and two children. Her most recent nonfiction books are Music Theory for Dummies, Music Composition for Dummies, and Walking Twin Cities. Her poetry and fiction has most recently appeared in The Packingtown Review, The MacGuffin, and Midnight Screaming.

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