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Contributor: Holly Day

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They break away from me as soon as they can and run
to adulthood. I catch their hair in my hands, am left clutching
blond trimmings wrapped in scotch tape,
labeled with dates: first haircut, five years old, 13.
Each tiny bundle of hair is darker than the one that came before
as if they come from different children, they could have.

He stops by sometimes, a man with light brown hair
and bright blue eyes, brings me birthday presents,
flowers for Mother’s Day, has children himself
a wife that regards me with distrust and shame. I am always
the same pale woman

sitting beneath the apple tree out back
watching flowers bloom and die
with frightening speed.

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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. Her published books include the nonfiction books Music Theory for Dummies, Music Composition for Dummies, and Guitar All-in-One for Dummies, and the poetry books “Late-Night Reading for Hardworking Construction Men” (The Moon Publishing) and “The Smell of Snow” (ELJ Publications).


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