"-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"> Frigg | Spring/Summer 2023 | Days of 2005 | Caitlin Wilson
artwork for Caitlin Wilson's poem Days of 2005

Days of 2005
Caitlin Wilson

In all those sandpit hours of strawberry
blonde girls with tongues like spades and cherry

bomb children’s games, I held the worms
closest—twisting blindly alive in my palms,

my elbows upon a gnarled red rock the size
of a desk or an altar. In the arithmetic of a child’s dig,

a worm never turns into two or three worms
but moves for a few precious seconds.

Before we had a family cat, there were gypsy moth
caterpillars eating fingertips from August leaves

until pesticide planes canvassed the banks
of the Magothy. Something in me now always starts

with the sky, as civilization begins with fertile rivers.
My mother’s voice in the bedside dark, multiplying,

branching to watershed, while a cat kills a grass snake
in the basement. Here’s the name of a flying bird

in parabolic flight. Here’s the name of a tree when it
is eaten to slivers. Now find your sleep.

Caitlin Wilson’s Comments

This poem is inspired by a series of poems by C.P. Cavafy with titles like “Days of [Year].” He wrote poems for 1908, ’09, ’10 and ’11, which capture the essence of the year through cameos of lovers. James Merrill was similarly inspired by Cavafy, writing “Days of 1964,” and many other poets have done the same. My own version goes into childhood, and the beloveds I had as a kid.

Table of Contents

Frigg: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 61 | Spring/Summer 2023