Past Due         
 
Sometimes, when I’m quiet
I feel them in my arms, I’m not sure which one.
If I close my eyes and run with the illusion
there is a baby in my arms
a tiny, warm head press against my chest
can almost hear the contented wheezing of infant sleep.
 
I try to get the cat to climb into my lap and take the place
of the phantom baby, try to get it to curl just so in my arms
press against me just so and stay still, let me cover it in blankets
fall asleep, but my old tom cat won’t have anything to do with that.
 
I have heard to women who buy baby dolls to fill the ache
losing or wanting a child has left behind, but I can’t do that,
I can’t be one of those women
curled on the couch, wrapped around a realistic-looking rubber doll
cooing nonsense lullabies to a latex child.
 
 
 
 

Holly Day’s poetry has recently appeared in The Cape Rock, New Ohio Review, and Gargoyle. Her nonfiction publications include Music Theory for Dummies, Music Composition for Dummies, Guitar All-in-One for Dummies, Piano and Keyboard All-in-One for Dummies, Walking Twin Cities, Nordeast Minneapolis: A History, and Stillwater, Minnesota: A History.   Her newest poetry collections, A Perfect Day for Semaphore (Finishing Line Press),  I'm in a Place Where Reason Went Missing (Main Street Rag Publishing Co.), and Where We Went Wrong (Clare Songbirds Publishing)  will be out mid-2018, with The Yellow Dot of a Daisy already out on Alien Buddha Press.