Elegy in Loveland
Updated: Jan 2, 2020
By Kate Meadows
Come dawn, the property spread red and
restless, twenty acres whittling out into
dark. Early blackbirds came and went,
shuffling and splitting in the live oak.
Lone rooftop stood sheltered in cusp of
shadow, tendoned shingle thin-ribboned
with early light. The shutters stuck low to
the sill, frayed hem of the home.
Sun rose, hot air knocked out and caught
in the clothesline, made white-sheet
sails. The old edifice trembled with empty
heft, halls ringing colossal as a cow skull.
The afternoon turned gritty as
sugar, desiccated the wasp
nests clustered in the spare
corners of drafty rafters, beige
dust gathered soft in their
Dead grass mused about the dirt road,
hungered and hungry still for rain
long-passed beyond the seeded and
subtle hood. Rutted paths trodden by
and the turn of sod and unruly reeds
where snakes bind close to the rot,
and beyond the water mill, dried
mud stasis of spit-image drought.
The husk of a creek.
Come dusk, the gnats hovered still in
clouds about the plot. The mailbox,
bent and rusting is a lone thoracic
cavity— hissing its elegy— for what is
not dead, but perished.
Kate Meadows is currently studying English and creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Inspired by the precise hand of poets like Sylvia Plath and Seamus Heaney, she attempts to find footholds in memory through unexpected sound-images, but with an atmospheric touch of the American South. Her work has appeared
previously in Scalawag and Cellar Door. You can keep up with her work on Instagram at @meadowspoetry.