Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Nebraska

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when my mother first went crazy
she accused my father of stealing the ocean
and hiding it from her, just
to be cruel and mean. We were living
in Nebraska
at the time, and I can still remember the look
on his face
as my father tried to defend himself
from her useless accusations.

for two more years, we sat through
days when my mother wouldn't get up
or those that when she did, she'd spend entirely
in the tub. "The Atlantic
feels like this," she'd tell me, urging me
to dip my fingers into lukewarm water. "Soft.
And warm."

somehow she got better
all on her own, and in the meantime
I learned how to cook for both
my little sister and me.
And then one day
we woke up
and there was breakfast on the table
the laundry was done
and my mother was awake, out of bed,
ready to step out into the snow
and walk us to school.

It happened
just like that.


Holly Day was born in Hereford, Texas, “The Town Without a Toothache.” She and her family currently live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she teaches writing classes at the Loft Literary Center. In addition to her published books, her needlepoints and beadwork have recently appeared on the covers of The Grey Sparrow Journal and QWERTY Magazine.


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