Read a sampling of Meredith’s work below. To hear and see more, visit her on YouTube.
The Fall in Connemara
We were one with the water.
Each lough a flat sheet of it
and the smell of green
in the night fields, night mist,
the slow fall of water
from sky to stream.
Morning came silvered above,
below, and around the dream
you were leaving,
the dream to be found.
When the sun spilled over
the face of the water shone
in a sheer plane of joy.
originally published in Nebraska Review
Bad Cess to Her
From one side of these streets to another,
back to the land where we all came from,
in every parish, in snow or fever,
may there be no place where her name is known.
Let her feel the blast of a widow’s curse
as the death of the kittens be to her,
a death without clergy, doctor or nurse,
forgotten by even sister and brother.
May the devil cut her head off
and make a day’s work of her neck,
then maybe I’ll say enough is enough
and not curse further the wretched wreck,
the slimiest maggot that’s ever been—
she who dared speak ill of my daughter, Noreen.
originally published in Diner
From The All About Story Book
Copyright 1929, an old primer
for a little girl in the ’50s,
red lacquered cloth cover unraveling,
glossy pages part from the spine
but the watercolors still glow
and the stories: “All About
Dear Little Small Red Hen” wilier than
the fox, dead and lay still and stark, killed
by boiling oil. Angry tigers run so fast
round a tree they melt into a butter circle.
Peter Rabbit loses his clothes again. Of course
Grethel kills the witch while one wolf turns
into Little Red’s new winter coat and another’s
the main course for a Little Pig. And Mickey
the Long Tail Monkey, his heart’s desire
breaks his heart. Only Miss Fluffy Chick
and Little Boy Blue get to see the world
in a dream of happy ending.
Stay home. Watch your back. Be good. Yeah, right.
Fox Wolf Tiger Witch. Take a walk
on the wild side. Get a fluffy yellowdown
mini dress. Don’t read so much.
originally published in Western Humanities Review
New York City Pastoral
I’ve lived these middle years in a place with trees,
time enough for greenery to take root in my dreams,
but my reverie’s still lit by the bright white smiles
of billboard queens, by smoke rings puffed high above
Times Square, or the flamingo-pink skin of a spauldeen
ball as it arcs from the pebbly nub of concrete past
the iron rimmed curb to the trash gummed gutter.
Sure I know the easy flower of dogwood, leaf of maple,
but hemlock, fir, or pine are just evergreens, as every
bird’s call and color blurs despite my birdbook guide.
Perfect earth-bound bouquets flourish in neighbors’ yards;
all I have are strays dropped by wind or creature to bed
in dirt, warm dirt, piled deep for growth, not the grime
that blackens city window sills. I was taught that what
you put in dirt will not come up clean. The hold for me
is spring’s hard bounce of rain on ash can lids, summer
asphalt hot to the step, fall’s frantic dance of soot-filled
swirls, every snow a thin clean skin to cover stain.
originally published in The MacGuffin