I talk more to my father now that he’s gone, perhaps
because now I can get a complete thought out, aloud, without fear
of interruption or condemnation. In those last days, he was a shadow
of what he had been in my childhood, but still
his dry, brittle husk still held
so much power over me the words I should have said
stopped stillborn inside me.
These days, we talk about everything—the weather, my job
politics, religion. I ask him about my family, if they look at me
the same way I used to look at him, hulking angry in his favorite chair
a trap to be avoided, to run past on tiptoes, and only when necessary
if there was anything
he wished he had done different
if I am turning into him.
Holly Day’s poetry has recently appeared in The Cape Rock, New Ohio Review, and Gargoyle. Her newest poetry collections are A Perfect Day for Semaphore (Finishing Line Press), In This Place, She Is Her Own (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press), A Wall to Protect Your Eyes (Pski’s Porch Publishing), I’m in a Place Where Reason Went Missing (Main Street Rag), and The Yellow Dot of a Daisy (Alien Buddha Press).