……………….“There is no progress, only a deepening.”
…………………..—Marianne Boruch

Like the lines that bracketed my mouth, now
folds so deep that one conceals a scar—a very polite
cancer, the surgeon said as he tucked the stitches
inside my face.

Once we dreamed perfection, questioned how
each line could alter to appear more like
the smooth beauty we wished to find. Hard
reflections still mirrored possibility.

Now I stare out windows to glimpse the bruise
of time. Shadows, purplish beneath a glint
of sun off trees, the tilting roof, a kingfisher back
on his piling. Memory, grown deep, is tidal—

it bares the rocks and ruts that mired us—then tucks
them all beneath the water’s rising blue.


Meredith Davies Hadaway has three published collections of poetry—most recently, 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, 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 and multiple Pushcart nominations.