by Holly Day
If you need to keep snakes out of your house
stretch a length of rope out under any open windows,
in front of your door, in front of any cracks or access spaces
a rattlesnake might wriggle its way through. This is what we did
before we had glass in the windows, before the doors fit tight
when we lived out in the country.
Now, the old outhouse and the chicken coop are filled with flowers
their roofs poked through with holes to let the sunlight in. The barn
has a ceiling glittering with stars, where a million tiny holes
let light into the dark, illuminating the rusted old tractor still in the corner
the coiled shape of something lethal sighing in the shadows.
Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, since 2000. Her poetry has appeared in Big Muddy, The Cape Rock, New Ohio Review, and Gargoyle, and her published books include Walking Twin Cities, Music Theory for Dummies, Ugly Girl, and The Yellow Dot of a Daisy. She has been a featured presenter at Write On, Door County (WI), North Coast Redwoods Writers’ Conference (CA), and the Spirit Lake Poetry Series (MN). Her poetry collections are A Perfect Day for Semaphore (Finishing Line Press) and I’m in a Place Where Reason Went Missing (Main Street Rag Publishing Co.).