Out in the Wild
by Holly Day
We drive up to the old house and you promise me we won’t go crazy
living out here, all alone, with no neighbors nearby. We’ll fill the house
with babies, and that’ll be more than enough company for either of us
more than enough conversation for a whole world.
We fill our summer by pouring concrete into molds to insulate the foundation
and replacing the broken glass with great, clear panes trucked in from town.
You build me a new kitchen with a big enough stove
to fix food for all these babies we’re going to raise out here
and a sink big enough for two or three kids to line up at
to wash all those dishes I’m going to need help with.
Sometime during these dreams, I find myself
walking out to the barn out back in the middle of the night,
not just once, and almost as soon as you fall asleep
find solace in the soft, warm bodies of the family of cats nesting in the hay
in the smell of the livestock you say we’re going to eat someday.
I pretend that this is my family, out here, these tiny quiet cries in the dark
the goats bumping up against my thigh as I push past their pen
the soft clucking of the rooster, disturbed by my entrance.
You promise me I won’t get lonesome out here
surrounded by fields of purple and yellow wildflowers
hordes of butterflies as big as my small, white hand
I promise you I will try my best to fill this house with children and song
that I won’t try to run away.
Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, since 2000. Her poetry has appeared in Big Muddy, The Cape Rock, New Ohio Review, and Gargoyle, and her published books include Walking Twin Cities, Music Theory for Dummies, Ugly Girl, and The Yellow Dot of a Daisy. She has been a featured presenter at Write On, Door County (WI), North Coast Redwoods Writers’ Conference (CA), and the Spirit Lake Poetry Series (MN). Her poetry collections are A Perfect Day for Semaphore (Finishing Line Press) and I’m in a Place Where Reason Went Missing (Main Street Rag Publishing Co.).