“Genealogy” by Meredith Davies Hadaway

Meredith Davies Hadaway


after Betsy Sholl

One parent was a river, the other was the tide.
She wandered through her day—she had her ups
and downs.

One was a candle, the other a chandelier—all those
little prisms bending light. No wonder she was bright—
but scattered.

One tinkered, the other shopped.
She puzzled over wheels and springs—then
gave up and bought a watch.

One spoke in numbers, the other, verbs.
She calculated miles ahead by
step and slide.

One flew across the night in streaks of dust, the other
faded out of sight, she’d lost
her wings.

One parent left me a piano, the other a pup.
Now I write songs only a dog
can sing.

from Rattle #58, Winter 2017

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Meredith Davies Hadaway: “Not long after my mother passed away I came across Betsy Sholl’s wonderful poem, ‘Genealogy.’ She inspired me to think about origins and endings and the family dynamics that serve as rocket fuel for poetry. Many others have responded to her poem. This is my attempt to join the conversation.” (web)

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