“Ars Poetica” by Mary Meriam

Mary Meriam


She took me home—or what I thought was home,
but was in fact a hell she made for us.
We left The Sound of Music with the fuss
that I was making, working out my poem

in sobs. She asked me what was wrong. I said,
“I want to be there,” in the Alps, singing,
twirling with her in sunshine. I was clinging
to song, with nothing real to hold instead.

She gave me pain—no comforting the way
most mothers do, I guess. And so I wept
like no tomorrow, out of love. We left
for rainy sidewalks to the car, the day

falling in dusk, the pity I had to make,
the bleak, deserted street I had to take.

from Rattle #48, Summer 2015

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Mary Meriam: “The scene in ‘Ars Poetica’ has been haunting me for a long time, so it’s a relief to have finally brought that ghost to the light of day. Now some of the pain I felt has been transformed into the formal pleasures of a sonnet.” (website)

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