Holly Day


the battle lines have been drawn

and my aunt is winning. The other sisters

and in-laws have been feuding for the title of matriarch

in anticipation of my grandmother’s

impending demise, tending to her still-breathing corpse

like well-intentioned vultures, cultivating grace

with an open hand to the crown,


back on the home front, my mother

frets that I don’t take on as much visible

responsibility as my sisters-in-law do

that I’ve slunk into the background

way too much. My husband

wonders why we always get family news

last, blames his busy work schedule

our overwhelming kids.


I tell him

we’re holding down our own fort

that if something important happens

people know we’re here to help. I plan

moves to foreign countries, send résumés

to far-away companies, long for the day

when there’s distance between my family

and the melodrama of the front lines.



Holly Day is a travel writing instructor living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with her husband and two children. Her newest book is Walking Twin Cities (Wilderness Press, 2009).