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Meredith Davies Hadaway

About the Poet
Meredith Davies Hadaway is the author of two collections of poetry, The River is a Reason (2011) and Fishing Secrets of the Dead (2005).

She has received two Pushcart nominations, fellowships from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts and a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award.

Hadaway serves as vice president for college relations & marketing at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland.

Fall 2012 Poems »

We lunch beneath a tiki-fringe umbrella
to celebrate the autumn sun that stays.

Flies attack our sandwiches. We swat
and swat and chew our chicken salad.

Between the plates, I see a yellowjacket
creeping toward your can of soda.

Many years ago my boss told me about
a football game at a college in Ohio.

Beside him in the stands, a man was cheering
through the final down, gripping his beer.

Just as the score was turning, he took a swig
of froth that held a yellowjacket.

“Dead in ten minutes,” my boss told me—
“he was allergic.”

Thirty years have passed. My long-retired
boss has died a slower death. And something

in the light this time of year reminds
me how we cannot trust in warmth or even

sustenance. I watch you lift the can of Coke
and hold my breath. You take a sip and swallow

chill and effervescence. Time out.
A taste of the coming season.


Red Right Returning

This time of year the sun goes
down, downriver, one last ember

glowing sideways to my left.
Other times it settles somewhere else.

It slips away all fall, then climbs
back slowly in the spring.

What's that sailors say about red
skies at night?

How easy to believe in words—
how much harder to believe in gas and rocks.

This is the miracle: that the sun wanders
by me every day and when it

sinks—somewhere on my left tonight—
you can be pretty sure it will

re-surface on my right, whether
I rise early to watch it light the angles

of the sky or stay in bed to feel it
blaze my bones.


The Royal We
I think the mission of poetry is to impart a divinized voice.
—Li-Young Lee

Turns out We are our own
best subjects and We enjoy

our sovereignty, wishing
to subject others to line

after line. We are every
man, with a mouthful

of crowns. And so
it’s in service to You,

whoever You may be,
that we work together

or apart. Like the days
when street sweepers prepared

the ground for the procession
of hems over cobblestones.

To know me is to love We
in the monarchy of the soul.


~ Meredith Davies Hadaway
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