The Guest

Author(s) : Holly Day,
poetry, issue-four

The little lady bug scurries towards me across the table
zig-zagging across the Formica as though it can’t decide
if it’s coming towards me or trying to find a way around me.
I put one finger down right in front of it
and without hesitation, it climbs up
and runs all the way up to my arm.

If I can get something so tiny and fragile to approach me like this
then perhaps I’m not so awkward and frightening after all
perhaps I can step out into the world
without causing havoc and destruction and make people run away
or whatever it is I think will happen
if I actually go outside.

The little ladybug stops at my elbow and raises its front legs
to wipe clear its eyes with two tiny front legs,
perhaps so it can see me more clearly.
I stare back at it, trying to look calm and nonthreatening
think strong, positive thoughts about how I like ladybugs
I would never hurt a ladybug
I would like to be this ladybug’s friend, if it’ll have me

and with a flash, it opens its little black secondary wings
and flutters away.

Holly Day has been a writing instructor at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis since 2000. Her poetry has recently appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Grain, and Harvard Review, and her newest poetry collections are Into the Cracks (Golden Antelope Press), Cross Referencing a Book of Summer (Silver Bow Publishing), The Tooth is the Largest Organ in the Human Body (Anaphora Literary Press), and Book of Beasts (Weasel Press).