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.