Thursday, November 02, 2017

New Poetry by Holly Day

In the Waiting Room
He comes into the lobby holding the little plastic bag
knuckles white and tight
as though he doesn't ever want to let it go. 
He drops it on the receptionist's desk

like a lion dropping the broken body of its cub
after some horrible accident, some catastrophic mauling
face contorted in resolution and anger
dismay and confusion. From where I'm sitting
in the back of the room with the other happily fat, pregnant women
reading magazines about breastfeeding and diaper technology
I can see just enough of the tiny gray body inside the bag
the parts not wrapped in white tissue paper

one thin arm, impossibly small and delicate
a perfect little foot
no blood.

"The doctor asked me to bring this in, " he says loudly
challenging the look of dismay on the receptionist's face. 
"She didn't pass it until this morning." The receptionist takes the bag 
with one quick, practiced sweep, hiding it between her body and the wall
as she takes it in the back room for the doctor. 
As she leaves, the man stares us all down,
daring us to acknowledge his presence, his anguish, 
daring us to recognize 

the painful events that brought him here. 

- Holly Day 2017

Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, since 2000. Her poetry has recently appeared in Tampa Review, SLAB, and Gargoyle, and her published books include Walking Twin Cities, Music Theory for Dummies, and Ugly Girl. 

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