Our friend the poet Meredith Davies Hadaway is a woman whose life is contemplative, whose pursuit is the revelation embodied in silence, whose truth is universal and usually serene. Among her poems, however, is one that shows how versatile she can be within that commitment to sitting and observing.

It is a pleasure to present her as she lets much hang out in this poetic prediction with a self-possessed and exuberant response.

 

SOONER

Sooner or later, your body will desert you
for a younger woman. Who would not choose

the slim waist of promise, the blue eye that
can swallow the distance and still read the menu?

My teeth are telling lies to the gums that
surround them like a sagging sock, about their

plans to stick around and chew when by night they
grind their way to freedom.

The breasts that used to hold out for the gentle
hand—suffice to say it’s sad to see them sink so low.

Yes, I’m angry. I rage. I plead. I polish and tweeze.
But the saddlebags are packed. The thighs

will take their leave while the knees are
strong enough to carry them.

What can I hold on to, if not these crumbling
bones? Put on your pointy shoes

and let’s go dancing, I tell my feet. Make it a
slow dance and sway those hips before

they can refuse you. With every step my
trusty heart will do its best to keep the beat.

Twirl, dip, whisper sweetly to the old dog
in the moonlight: later, later.

from The River Is a Reason, by Meredith Davies Hadaway

 

Meredith 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 VP for College Relations & Marketing for Washington College. Her website is http://mdh.washcoll.edu/index.php

Start the conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.