Two Poems

Poetry / Meg Wade

:: Aubade in Mid-December ::

My lover searches the forest
of my hair to find the good

ear he can whisper into.
My other a can of tin bees.

I heard music when you spoke just
now—I swear it, he whispers. 

But I hear nothing. 

No trembling timpani, no 
boots puncturing the bone-white   

snow. I listen hard for some sudden 
interruption of solitude. He switches 

the radio on & Appalachian Spring
breaks through the speakers. 

It’s thirty degrees. Unseasonably warm
and wet. Our messy bed now nothing 

more than a contract between 
landmark and surrender. 


:: Failed Spell ::

You must swarm the dark. 
You must strike fast & shatter

its branches. Do exactly as I say 
or you will lose this child.
Walk out into your mother’s 
woods & do not speak to anyone
for three days. Gather the bark 
that will soothe the little furnace 

of your body, mullein leaves
once the flower finishes 

dying; meadowsweet, we call
Save. Crush the leaves. 

Cover them with vodka and drink.
Your body will become a light 

show. May mercy’s lace thread
what happens next.


From the writer

:: Account ::

“Aubade in Mid-December”

I became incredibly and inexplicably sick in the spring of 2017. I battled most of the year with my health, which of course affected my relationship with the world. I permanently lost a significant amount of hearing in my right ear. I couldn’t chew solid foods. When I was finally in somewhat better health again, I took on a new lover. This poem is based on a true story of a night we had early on in knowing one another. I wanted to write a poem that explored my newfound relationship with hearing loss and sex, but also the complicated nature of intimate relationships in general. How so often we are alone—even if we are not alone. How even though we are together, we still experience the same moments differently.

Failed Spell

Lately, my work is heavily inspired by the spiritual practice of Appalachian Granny Witches. My mother, her mother, and her mother before her were all practitioners of this sacred healing art. These poems rise to engage with this practice and the place it resides in, as I try to navigate my own lineage and responsibility within it.


Meg Wade is a 2017 National Poetry Series finalist. She is a former Poetry Fellow at the University of Wisconsin’s Creative Writing Institute, and her manuscript Slick Like Dark won the 2017 Snowbound Chapbook Award from Tupelo Press (2019). She has been the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize, and her poems have appeared in Nashville Review, Horsethief, Pinwheel, and WILDNESS, among other journals and anthologies. She lives and writes in Nashville, Tennessee.