The Wooden Man, by Holly Day

The Wooden Man
by Holly Day

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 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, Insider’s 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.

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