You need only read the title of Meredith Davies Hadaway’s poem to be dazzled by where a true poet finds her muse. There is a reason why this is the fourth of Hadaway’s poems we’ve presented since July of last year.  Read this recognition of a moment in August and you too will agree that her stunning gifts merit reading her every chance you get.


Pumping the Bilge

Yes, the overflowing possibility of anything that fills
and can be emptied. A return

of things to rightful places. An elemental balancing—
the deep gurgle, like the river

clearing its throat. The solace of words
themselves: the engine well, the bilge, a purge.

The crazed fiddling of crickets that says it is August,
it is hot, it is almost over. The sweat that is my body’s

contribution to the sky and river. The steady
roll and rise of the hull beneath my

feet as lines that stretch across a falling
tide pull tight to test its limits.

from The River Is a Reason, by Meredith Davies Hadaway.  Reprinted with the poet’s permission.


Meredith Davies HadawayMeredith Davies Hadaway is the author of two poetry collections, “The River Is a Reason” and “Fishing Secrets of the Dead.” In addition to publishing poems and reviews in various literary journals, she serves as poetry editor for “The Summerset Review.” Hadaway is the Rose O’Neill Writer-in-Residence at Washington College. Her website is 

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