Why the River by Meredith Davies Hadaway


During the holiday season, it’s easy to get caught up in the special images of Chestertown with festive lights glowing and a seamless supply of music, dance and theatre programs to enrich the yuletide season. And yet, more times than not, it is the Chester River, the glue that holds our community together, that stands far removed from the seasonal celebrations.

The Spy has attempted to remedy that sad omission in our Holiday message with a reading of “Why the River’ by poet Meredith Davies Hadaway. While Hadaway makes it clear that the title is more of a question than a statement, the answer is found in the poem itself, as it has been for those who love this river, with the words,

“because it traps the clouds so we can sail across/ both heaven and earth/ because it carries our tears, swells/ with our salt/ because it is a body/ because it bears our weight.”

This video is approximately one minute in length.

An award-winning poet and teacher of ecopoetry, Meredith Davies Hadaway is the author of three collections of poetry, At The Narrows, (2015) The River is a Reason (2011) and Fishing Secrets of the Dead (2005), all issued from Word Poetry. Hadaway’s work explores the birds, bugs, trees, marshes—and especially the waters—of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, evoking memory and mystery as they shape our braided lives. You can find her work at Bookplate in Chestertown and on Amazon here

Letters to Editor



  2. Maria Wood says:

    How beautiful, and how true… That is how we feel about the river, even those of us who are separated from it.

  3. Carol Brown says:


  4. Barbara in den Bosch says:

    Thanks very much, Meredith. And thanks to to the Spy, too.

  5. Carla Massoni says:

    Thank you for a most precious holiday gift. Congratulations to the Spy for being a champion of the arts. I am immensely grateful for the poets, writers, journalists, historians, scientists, educators, artists exploring all mediums, and the dear and precious people who make up the world of our Chestertown.

  6. Melinda Bookwalter says:

    Thank you, Meredith, for your gifts of poetry, music, photos and self; and for the reminder of why we live here.

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