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  Table of contents Issue Twenty BLOODLINES


The maple sends its helicopter seeds across the yard
in desperation dreams of propagation. I rake most of them up
rip out the long roots of the ones that slip past me
take root and try to grow. I sometimes wonder
if my tree hates me, if it feels angry when it sees me

with my gardening shears clipping its offspring close to the ground
or if it’s resigned itself to the fact that it will never be surrounded
by a forest of its own family. I think of these violent acts of mine
during heavy storms when the limbs of the tree whips around my roof

if it’s using the wind and the lightning as an excuse to drop branches
and clumps of leaves on my lawn, if it’s aiming for me and my children
in an act of retaliation so sly it won’t ever be blamed.




Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minnesota, since 2000. Her poetry has recently appeared in Oyez Review, SLAB, and Gargoyle, while her newest poetry book, Ugly Girl, just came out from Shoe Music Press.

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