"We bring a cup of strong hot coffee because there's no to go ..."


Kay recommends these on line literary sites.


Ms. Day


Kay Day reads "Late Night News"

Kay Day

Late Night News

--This poem won the 1998 Carrie Allen McCray Literary Award for Poetry

Every tired nerve
begins to want a pillow
my hand reaches to hush
the sterile voice
with its steady whine
of politics, taxes, car wrecks, fires.
So the sudden bulletin charges
through me static electricity in quiet.
A child, 12, missing for weeks
dead parts found in scrub oak
woods two miles from home.
Until the body was found
by a stranger for days
his mother grieved went
looking cursing silence.

I walk up the stairs
to my daughter's room
search for her warm body
in tangled covers
in the muted bed.
Not caring if I wake her
I gather her close
feel the sour breath of news
prowling like some mythic raptor
hunting for small game.

The Road to Tookiedoo

When the day ends
like a bent spoon
and we know we need
to get away for just
a little while, we point
the car towards the road
that zigs and zags through country
where night seems as long as the highway.
Small talk canters
like a song tapping
into quiet hills that hear confessions:
children husbands dirty clothes and coupons
how life makes us struggle.
We bring a cup of strong hot coffee
because there's no to go
in Tookiedoo. And we smile,
drinking up harmony
struggles bouncing off
the car like roadkill.


I saw him in a dream I could not decide
and he pointed to a bridge that connected
two banks full of thick gnarled ivy
across a narrow stream full of dark ink water.

At first it was lovely.
Up the right hand bank a ways
was a spot where you might unfold
a blanket, set a small basket,
lay out little sandwiches cut in quarters
neatly placed on a Delft china plate
blue blue like you want sky to be.
You would sit and talk together
and watch birds if they chose to come.

But soft of a sudden you hear
low voices like a choir understated
you know they won't sing church songs
but still you nibble a little at a sandwich
because you're hungry

then something makes you look at him
and for no reason in your mind you ask
Who does he think he is who is he?
You can't figure out why you followed him
well just look at him hair unkempt something
short of a smile full of teeth with points
you didn't see at first nails straight out
of ancient China curved jagged crescents
eyes no color, gully washed.

He gives a start, he knows you sense
he's got you now and the choir
starts to crash sing you see them all
men and women and children run
try to cross the bridge and you fall
in with them a pack of horse wild things
only no one can find the lead and the bridge
erupts a ramp of flames closed off
at both ends you taste cinders
in your mouth gritty--he points to the bank
with a wide as heaven sneer
slipping across his crooked teeth
his tongue licks mean he looks at you and asks,

Dream, or vision?