The Things that Come in the Mail

Holly Day

mail box
Photo Credit: Ana Ivette Rodriguez

the flowers come in the mail, with the cards, with the lovely notes
expressing sympathy for our loss. I don’t want to answer the door anymore
want to let the tiny wreaths pile up, wither away.

I smile, thank the delivery man for my mail, I smile at my husband
I smile
at everyone. I call relatives to let them know I’m fine, I don’t need
anything. I thank them for their kindness and for the flowers.
my husband compliments me on my strength, I reply with
another smile. my face hurts from smiling so much. at night

I find myself talking to the missing baby, hold
my hands over my stomach, protecting nothing. I shuffle through
these days, find comfort in repetitive tasks. I vacuum constantly.
I crochet mittens for everyone. I turn inside myself

hold back everything but this smile, the one I show my family
my husband—it’s all I’ve got left.


Holly Day is a housewife and mother of two living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her poetry has recently appeared in The Oxford American, The Midwest Quarterly, and Coal City Review. She recently co-authored the book, Guitar All-in-One for Dummies, with guitarist Jim Peterik of the band Survivor. Email: lalena[at]

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