Ashley Mae Hoiland




I dreamt I sent my canary son on a bus,
thinking he would know the way home.
But then, the red buses, their numbers dictating
a thousand paths to a thousand mother arms.
My skinny-legged son swinging sweaty
on the blue seats, the silly sailboats and confetti
his fingers trace. When will he know he is lost?

I got to panicking. The rise of the frantic lamb mother bleating.
And then I got to crying and sobbing so my husband woke me.
The lolling Swedish sun ruthlessly sending light into our room at 3 a.m.
I just want a little privacy this night, a little darkness to hold me in.

In the morning I told my son about the dream,
and now he tells it as a story, embellished each time.
‘Remember, I got lost on the bus, and you cried,
and I told the man I have a sister and a dog, and he took me home.’

Dear man, I don’t know how you found the one bridge
that crosses from Stockholm onto our little island,
but thank you.
Thank you.
We are
all of us,
foreigners in this land.


ASHLEY MAE HOILAND Ashley Mae Hoiland received a BFA in Painting and an MFA in Creative Writing, both from Brigham Young University. She currently lives in Palo Alto, California with her husband and two small children. Her artwork and writing can be found here