To a Sycamore, Lately

By Meredith Davies Hadaway

I cannot know the hundred
               springs when tiny leaves uncurled
                              to grasp the sky, the summers

of humid bark and peeling days—
               I know nothing of your life, though
                              I watched it end with ropes and saws

and men. I remember my first autumn
               at this river’s edge, how I sat beside
                              my father in a quilted shade you

made for us. He was old then too,
               but no more so to me than you—both
                              spreading limbs in the tinged air, there,

where you’d always been when
               the moon rose to touch the clouds, when
                              the world turned silver, when

geese barked their lonesome cries across
               the flock, when they stopped.


Meredith Davies Hadaway is the author of Fishing Secrets of the Dead (2005), The River is a Reason (2011), and At the Narrows (forthcoming) from WordTech. She is currently the Rose O’Neill Writer-in-Residence at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland.

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