My boots slip on the ice and I struggle to stay standing
and think, “This? Is this how I die? On a sidewalk
some idiot neighbor forgot to shovel, taking the dog out for a walk?”

And I don’t fall but I still wonder if I’ll make it home
or if I’ll slip somewhere else, die on my back
the dog watching me with concern but too well-trained
to bark or run away

I come and he comes and my heart pounds against my chest
and I wonder, “Now? If this how I’ll go?”
too old to fuck properly without worrying about death?
And even after my body settles into the warmth before sleep
I’m still worrying about how I’ll be found
dead in the morning, skin pale and drawn,
jaw sagging next to a puddle of drool
I’m already sorry for whoever finds me first.

Holly Day’s poetry has recently appeared in The Cape Rock, New Ohio Review, and Gargoyle. Her newest poetry collections are A Perfect Day for Semaphore (Finishing Line Press), In This Place, She Is Her Own (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press), A Wall to Protect Your Eyes (Pski’s Porch Publishing), I’m in a Place Where Reason Went Missing (Main Street Rag Publishing Co.), and The Yellow Dot of a Daisy (Alien Buddha Press,) all published in 2018.

Photography by Julie van der Wekken.