Nature Graffiti

Holly Day


Holly Day’s poetry has recently appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Grain, and Harvard Review. Her newest poetry collections are Where We Went Wrong (Clare Songbirds Publishing), Into the Cracks (Golden Antelope Press), Cross Referencing a Book of Summer (Silver Bow Publishing), and The Tooth is the Largest Organ in the Human Body (Anaphora Literary Press).


My daughter digs a little hole with the end of a stick and drops

two orange seeds in it. “So we can have two orange trees,” she says

then wonders if she planted them too close to one another. I tell her

oh, it’s okay, they’ll make room for each other, 

not wanting to tell her that grocery store oranges

are bombarded with radiation before being put on the shelves

that no matter how many seeds she plants in the yard

we will never have an orange grove out here.


Over the years, she’s planted grapefruit seeds, apple seeds,

seeds from strange, impulsively-bought fruits

and none of them have put out much more than a tiny leaf,

usually nothing. Our garden is a forest thwarted

like the yards in Chernobyl

full of tiny, sterile plants, flowers with no scent

and spiders that never spin the same web twice.