2 poems by Katherine Meehan


Sourwood


It is embarrassing—

that I expected to see you,

though our cars are parked

a quarter-century apart

and each is fastened

to its moment.

The view from here,

as far as I remember,

was blue trees for miles;

a trick of isoprene,

of atmosphere, of light.

Memory is story;

story is a choice.

You were never one

to make an effort, so

I don’t know why

I thought I could,

not cross paths exactly, but

try to close some distances?

Nope. Instead of you,

I meet only what

I have forgotten—

how mica sheds its glitter

down the paths,

how it fractures; tiny bits

spangle the riverbed.

And the streams, the falls—

I had forgotten these,

the feral water,

the slow-motion

melt of gneiss.

I want to tell you

that I never lied, and

I have realised this

was not a kindness.

I may have some learnings yet.

The honeybee is at the sourwood,

beside the white bells of its bloom,

dancing to no music.



Goat Willow


I don’t know what this fluff is called,

gathered path-side and all around,

these white, these hairy airborne—

piling up, rising past the rutted track

the tyre stack and rusted wire. I doubt

everything: that this is lovely,

that we are having a nice time,

that this wood is not a ruin,

cratered by tree fall,

all jagged deadwood—

to what end?

Have I ever lived

face-deep

in catkins,

taking names?


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Katherine Meehan lives in Reading. Her work has appeared at The Kenyon

Review, One Hand Clapping, Ink, Sweat &Tears, Brittle Star, Drunken Boat, Wilderness

House Literary Review, and others. She’s currently working towards her first collection.