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3 Poems

Dalton Day


One attempt at mindfulness & for the rest of my life
the chorus of Bawitdaba is the mantra
that is supposed to calm me. As I, & nobody
else, says: it could always be worse.
I could be wearing flip flops in an airport
as I try to make my connecting flight with seconds
to spare, but I’m not. A little birdie told me
I need to get on with my aforementioned life,
& I didn’t think to ask if they knew about the internet,
such was my heart too aflutter, & so I’ve gone
looking for objects to treasure. A killjoy, a night
worth ending early, a map of Kentucky credited to
a person who’s great power was the ability to name
everything short of themselves
. I’m not calm. Bawitdaba.


A joke turns into a worry
turns into a defense mechanism.
I am defended the exact same
as a chicken coop. One fox
& I’m like, I should’ve asked
to be a fox. You know, in the office
where you ask for permission
to be whatever you want,
with a caveat that you may get
the exact opposite.
That’s why I got snowglobe
filled with old Rolo’s wrappers aka
cutie’s gold & a house that screams
I don’t want to move I want
to be moved, ayyyyyyy.

It’s not terrible, & hey,
eventually I’ll go into the woods
I could navigate with my eyes closed.
What will I do there? My alarm
knows no rational bounds,
but the alarm is mine.


That birthday card isn’t for you,
but you’ll get one someday.

I wait all the time,
in the countryside in an ill-fitting hat.

It was a gift! & gifts must
be treasured, lest

they become the foundation
of some poor creature’s

perfect home. I will make you
happy. I set up a slip n’ slide

on a hill that leads to an outdoor
clothing store. You too

can have a hat like this! That’s
how brave you are for

thinking the same way for hours.
At least as brave as me.

Dalton Day is a preschool teacher in Georgia. He can be found at tinyghosthands.com.