Holly is a travel writing instructor and author of Walking Twin Cities. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
© 2009 Holly Day
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.
When I became pregnant
I spent the first few weeks trying to kill it
stopped eating, slept
stomach down against the cold dirt
beat myself until it hurt. Then
other thoughts began to set in
of what this child could be if it lived
how the nightmare of his or her conception
could unfold until a wonderful dream. Now
I slept with my stomach to the ground
to protect the child within
my body a shield against
the wolves prowling outside my door.
When he raped me a second time I knew
he had killed our baby, the way
one knows that the sun has risen
even while still deep in sleep. By morning
I knew I was completely alone.
All work is property of Holly Day.
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