Meredith Davies Hadaway

Notes for My Obituary

Follow those private hints,
and never leave the premises. 
                                — Rumi


The world looks like one thing and feels
	like something else. Small leaves fluttering
		beneath lingering clouds. 

Traffic’s soft surf
	promising nothing more 
		or less than breath.


A baby boy, born safely and on time in the eye 
of the pandemic. “Proof” should be his name.


I try to raise the shade 
	and it threatens to 
	jam. I hoist it carefully 
and leave it up—
if it’s going to be stuck, it better let 
me see the river.


On Zoom each Monday night, I find 
it reassuring we still gather. In the buzz 
of the hive, even fear is comforting.


My loft window puts me at flight height.
We go on—the birds and I. 

A forecast gray and rainy day doesn’t
matter. The weather is inside me.


Holding still. I let the days pass through
	me, waiting to see what remains. 

Me and the sky—two shades of the same color.


I miss my mother. Sometimes she is a sharp
inhalation where air used to be.


Always waiting for the stars 
	to align when
	I could be stoking the fires.


My screen porch at night. 
	Soft heat and fireflies. 
		Long pauses between 
			cars on the bridge.


My father knew the stars—their names 
	and constellations. Now when we have

lost our way, they emerge again. Our calendars, our 
	signposts—distance and magnitude.

I read that the imagination “requires sustained
encounters with uncertainty.” 


Sunlight should be God enough.


Say at the end, “She saw the river turn
to gold. The trees stood patiently, as they
 always do, calming the breath of the sky.”

Meredith Davies Hadaway has three published collections of poetry—including At the Narrows, winner of the 2015 Delmarva Book Prize for Creative Writing. Her work has also appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, The Cincinnati Review, Harpur Palate, New Ohio Review, Rhino, Salamander, Southern Poetry Review, and Valparaiso Poetry Review among other journals. Hadaway has received fellowships from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts and from the Maryland State Arts Council.

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