The Spy’s annual seasonal tradition of publishing a poem by Chestertown’s Meredith Davies Hadaway continues for its fifth year with her moving Synonyms for Faith.
This poem was first published by The Summerset Review and was nominated for a 2020 Pushcart Prize. Her painting is an 8×8 pastel, entitled “Vespers.” And the harp accompaniment is excerpted from “Meditation on a Scottish Seal Song.”
Synonyms for Faith
All day a lone goose stands on the floating
dock. He nibbles at the water—stretches,
preens—but does not fly. No sign
of the flock that was there the day
before. I worry he’s injured or maybe
lost his mate. The tide comes in, raising
the wooden slats that hold him, then
retreats. Ducks crowd by and leave again.
The sun moves down the river, tossing
amber light across the lower layer of clouds.
Still there, now a silhouette against the glowing
sky. There is no lonelier sound than the cry
of just-one-goose—unless you hear another
from further down the river. I can’t be sure.
I only know the goose is gone now.
That when I look again, I see a pair
of shadows wing their way along
the river’s silver surface.
Meredith Davies Hadaway is the author of three poetry collections, including At the Narrows, winner of the 2015 Delmarva Book Prize for Creative Writing.