Holly Day’s poetry has recently appeared in Plainsongs, The Long Islander, and The Nashwaak Review. 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 Publishing Co.), The Yellow Dot of a Daisy(Alien Buddha Press), Folios of Dried Flowers and Pressed Birds (Cyberwit.net), and Where We Went Wrong (Clare Songbirds Publishing).
My husband calls me into the kitchen to show me the mouse
that has fallen into the sink during the night. “I think it’s dead,” he says
just as it begins paddling half-heartedly in the water once more
one last, futile effort to find some purchase on the slick porcelain basin
one impossible final effort. Its eyes are dull, flat, black
minutes from the end. I reach down into the water,
pull the little creature up by its tail
take it outside. “Make sure it’s dead,” calls my husband from the house
not wanting to be a part of whatever I have planned. The mouse
struggles feebly in my hand. Its eyes don’t see me. I have never
seen eyes like that before, half goggled, oblivious
like two dull nail heads jammed into its face.
I carefully set it down in the garden, place its feet on the dirt
let go of its tail. “Please don’t come back,” I whisper
as it struggles for life, for balance
before springing off into the undergrowth.
“Please don’t come back.”