March 12, 2014

Meg Day

WHAT I WILL TELL HIS DAUGHTER, WHEN SHE’S OLD ENOUGH TO ASK

When they removed the yellow tape
from the doorway, our neckless birds
still sat, unfolding, on the tabletop,

his stack of paper—foils & florals
& one tartan velum—fanning out
across Origami for Dummies

& onto the floor. The chair we’d set
in the middle of the room for hanging
the first twenty attempts at a thousand

seemed frozen mid-bow, all four legs facing
west. He never mentioned his plans
or his grief—only that I could find the fishing

line toward the front, near the large spools
of rope. Don’t go on without me, I’d said
& whistled the eleven short blocks

back from the hardware while he folded his apologies
& suspended himself from the ceiling of cranes.

from Rattle #41, Fall 2013
Tribute to Single Parent Poets

[download audio]

__________

Meg Day: “I had just turned 24 when Samyah’s father killed himself and she came to live with me. MFA acceptances had arrived the month before and that fall I wrote the first poems for my workshop with a shell-shocked and silent nine-year-old swaddled on my couch. Reading poems aloud—Rilke, Celan, Dickinson—was what finally got her to talk again. Since then, when I’m writing, I think a lot about what might help someone else speak.” (website)